By: John Dissauer
BEFORE THE STORM: Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. Check the antifreeze and your windshield washer levels in your car and fill as needed. Make sure your windshield wipers are in good shape and the tires are propery inflated. Be sure to pack a car safety kit that includes flashlights, safety trianges or flares, blankets and now perishable food should your car become disabled. If you have a cell phone or other communication device charge it up now and keep it with you should you become stranded on the road.
IF AT HOME: Make sure your heating system is in good working order. Gather together your home weather preparedness kit and make sure it is well stocked. Keep flashlights, fresh batteries, blankets, non perishable food, water and other necessities on hand that you may need should the electric power go out. Check on your family and neighbors, especially those persons that are elderly or infirmed to make sure they are ok. If you have pets or livestock, make preparations for shelter, food and water before conditions outdoors worsen for the animals.
DURING THE STORM: If you do not have to travel, stay at home. If you must travel, do not drive faster than conditions allow and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Do not brake or stop abruptly and give a wide berth when approaching emergeny vehicles, highway trucks clearing or treating roadways, and large vehicles.
If you are at home or work and the electric power goes out, use caution when using candles, portable heating units or fireplaces. Do not place any objects that could easily catch fire near an open flame or intense heat. Keep small children and pets a safe distance from heat sources. If the water lines in your home or business are prone to freezing, allow the water from the faucets to slowly drip.
If power lines or tree limbs fall due to the accumulation of ice near your dwelling, stay away from the power lines and damaged trees during the storm. You could be electrocuted or hurt by falling tree limbs. Stay inside and report any downed lines to the utility companies.
AFTER THE STORM: Use caution while working outdoors, changes in the wind and temperature outside may cause ice and snow to fall from trees and other elevated objects leading to additional damage to power lines and dwellings.
Walk and drive with caution. Roads and sidewalks will still remain slick well after the winter precipitation has left the area.
Source: National Weather Service