Winter storms can range from moderate snowfall to the blizzard-like conditions we’re seeing today during Winter Storm Nemo. As a New Englander or someone used to the snow, you might not be planning ahead for the storm. However, in order to stay safe and prevent injury, it’s important to plan ahead and prepare for the worst of the storm. Consider these tips to stay safe today and during every winter storm:
1. Stay up-to-date on the weather forecast and school closings. Most news channels, including The Weather Channel, as well as more local stations have weather apps for your smartphone and iPad, which make it easy for you to receive weather updates while on the go or at home.
2. Plan ahead and stay home if you can. Snow is a top cause of auto-related accidents. It’s best to stay off the roads, even though you may want to go about your planned activities for the day. Ask your employer to work from home or take a sick or vacation day if possible. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
3. If you do need to go out for any reason, make sure you have an emergency kit in your car, shovel in case you need to dig your car out, as well as plenty of blankets and bottles of water. Also, make sure your car has plenty of gas so you don’t get stranded.
4. Assume that the power will go out and plan ahead by setting out candles, flashlights, extra blankets and turning down the settings on your freezer and refrigerator so items will last longer. Also, charge as many of your electronic items as you can – cell phones, e-readers, tablets and laptops are all items you’ll likely need to keep yourself busy or to use in case of an emergency. Try to preserve the battery life of electronics by shutting them off when you don’t need to use them.
5. Bring pets inside. Storms often bring heavy winds, down power lines, trees and debris which you don’t want your pet exposed to.
6. Wait to send kids out to play in the snow. Although snow is great to play in, wait until the storm is over before sending out little ones to play. Keep them busy with crafts or books if the power goes out and plan activities ahead of time so they won’t get bored.
7. Take the storm seriously. So many New Englanders are used to the snow, so we aren’t too surprised when a storm comes around. However, pay attention to weather storm warnings, states of emergency and other alerts – remember, they’re in place to keep us safe.
8. When it comes to shoveling the driveway, make sure you are healthy enough to do so. Shoveling is an exhausting chore, especially when there’s a foot or more of snow to shovel. If you can’t have someone plow your driveway and you need to take it on yourself, take frequent breaks, wear plenty of layers and ask for help from a friend, neighbor or family member.
What are you doing to prepare for the storm?