Winter is right around the corner! With the Farmer’s Almanac predicting a “bitterly cold and snow-filled season” for much of Pennsylvania, Lutheran Disaster Response- Eastern PA, a program of Liberty Lutheran, wants to make sure you and your family are prepared for winter weather.
“The same event another part of the year has a bigger impact due to the cold temperatures,” Disaster Response Coordinator, Julia Menzo said. For example, power outages due to a winter storm are much more dangerous because it cuts off heat to homes. “Winter months bring cold nor’easters, ice storms and snow,” Julia added. The following tips will help you prepare for winter weather:
- Stock up on non-perishable food items and bottled water (three day’s worth is recommended)
- Before it starts to get colder out, clean leaves and debris out of your gutters and make sure there are no tree limbs caught in power lines
- Change batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and have spare batteries for flashlights and other items
- Check the pipes in your home to make sure they are properly insulated and familiarize yourself with where the shutoff valve is in case you have to shut water off to your home
- If able to go outside, shovel walkways and the area around your front door every two to three hours to keep snow build-up to a minimum
- Have a supply of salt handy to keep ice from building up on patios and walkways
- Have an amble number of blankets in case you lose heat
- If you do lose heat, do not use kerosene heaters in your home, and if you are going to use a generator, run it outside
- If your home is damaged during a storm, take plenty of pictures and call your insurance company and local municipality
It is also important to have a communication plan in place with the members of your family. Since you may not be with every member of your family when a disaster strikes, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises families to pick an out-of-state relative to call, because it may be easier to place long distance calls than local calls, in the event of a disaster. By having a single relative to call, family members can learn the whereabouts and situation of other family members who they may not be with.
For more information on winter weather preparedness, click on the following links: