As temperatures drop and winter takes hold in many parts of the country, now is a good time to prepare for the winter chill and to be reminded of how to stay safe during spells of cold weather.
- MAKE AN EMERGENCY KIT
Build your home emergency kit or make sure your existing kit is up to date. Include everything that everyone in your family would need to stay safe for at least 72 hours, and don’t forget your pets. Assemble a kit for each car in case you become stranded in a winter storm. Consider lightweight, smaller versions of supplies that you can take with you if you must evacuate. Provide a “Go Bag” or “Bug-Out Bag” for each family member. For additional information, including a printable shopping list for your kits, visit https://ready.gov/kit.
- REVIEW SAFETY TIPS
Learn what actions are important before, during and after winter storms and in extreme cold. Specific steps can help ensure that you and your family are able to ride out the storm safely. For more information, visit https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather.
- ANTICIPATE POWER OUTAGES
Prepare for power outages. Winter storms and extremely cold temperatures can down lines and disrupt services. For tips about how to prepare now to manage a power loss, visit https://www.ready.gov/power-outages.
- PREPARE FOR EXTREME COLD
If you are outdoors in winter weather, remember that extreme cold can be very dangerous. Dress in layers, cover your skin and limit the amount of time you spend outside. If you plan to travel this winter, stay off icy roads when winter storm advisories or watches are issued and, while driving, slow your speed and acceleration. Keep your gas tank nearly full to help prevent ice from forming in the tank and fuel lines.
- PREPARE YOUR HOME
Make sure your home is winter ready. Have your heating system inspected and serviced to ensure it is good working order. If you are using a space heater, make sure it has an auto shut-off in case it tips over. To prevent your pipes from freezing, repair and seal cracks around windows and doors, fill spaces around pipes to prevent cold airflow, keep the thermostat above 55 degrees, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes, and know the location of the main water shut-off valve for your home.
FIND MORE INFORMATION
Blog post: Help your home stand up to winter
Blog post: Ice dams a headache to be avoided
Blog post: Emergency planning: Is your family ready?
This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Contact your local, independent agent for insurance coverage advice and loss control information.