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Winter Storm Preparation


This time it's not just going to be a sprinkle of snow, we are expecting a large accumulations of snow across the state of Connecticut. With any storm, it’s important to not only make sure you are prepared, but also your house and car.

Here is a precautionary list of items for you, your house, and your car.

For your house to protect you, you must first protect your house. Winter storms can cause a lot of internal damage that might not be visible to the eye.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, Ready website recommends that you plan and stay informed when any storm hits.

If you have a fireplace or wood stove, have a supply of dry, seasoned wood.

To prevent your pipes from freezing, you can insulate them with newspaper or plastic and to allow the faucets to drip during the cold weather to prevent freezing.

FEMA’s Ready website provides a “how to” in case you need to shut off your water valves.

It’s common when winter storms hit that schools might be closing, but businesses might not, which is why it is important to pack a disaster kit for the car.

Important items to include are a scraper, brush, rock salt, sand and, surprisingly, cat litter.

Clay-based cat litter can help to de-ice a surface and add traction when trying to drive in inclement weather.

And for you and your family, make sure to have a battery-powered radio to tune into the local news or the National Weather Service with information regarding the storm.

Also include extra blankets, canned foods, water bottles or jugs, flashlights and a lot of extra batteries.

Additional tips:

  • Visit the bank or ATM to take out cash in case your bank loses power and you cannot access an ATM
  • Use text messaging:  During an emergency situation, text messages go through quicker than voice calls because they require less system resources.
  • Program Emergency Numbers: Make sure all your emergency numbers, including family members, the hospital, police and fire station, are in your phone.
  • Limit non-emergency calls: Keeping calls to a minimum will conserve battery power and free up wireless networks for emergencies
  • Charge your wireless devices:  Make sure all of your devices are charged before the storm arrives.  Car chargers can be especially helpful to ensure you have back-up power.
  • Protect your device from the elements: Cold weather can cause your battery to drain faster. Don't exposure your device to cold for any extended period of time – don't leave it in your car overnight or take it outside with you shoveling or sledding.
  • Have flashlights and extra batteries, extra medicine and baby items, first-aid supplies, heating fuel, a fire extinguisher and smoke detector.
  • Clear gutters and downspouts of debris to allow melting snow and ice to flow freely. To help prevent ice dams from forming, keep the attic well-ventilated and the attic floor well-insulated.
  • Consider having snow removed if the accumulation of ice and snow exceeds 20-25 pounds per square foot to avoid potential roof collapse.
  • Never leave a fire or burning candles unattended. Always properly dispose of fireplace embers.
  • Follow all safety guidelines when using supplemental space heaters to prevent electrical fires or fires caused by the placement of heaters too close to flammable materials.

For more information, visit http://www.ready.gov/, click “Be Informed” and scroll down to the “Natural Disasters” and choose “Winter Storm & Extreme Cold.”


Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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