Are you ready for winter’s next storm emergency? We’re here to help you navigate all the challenges of the season with part four of a special edition on our blog, outlining the basics of cold weather preparedness. Today, we’re talking about severe winter weather readiness.
Winter storms can make the flow of every life stop short, dumping snow on roads and sidewalks over a few hours, to producing blinding blizzard conditions that last for several days. No matter where you live, you can also experience dangerously low temperatures, strong winds, ice, sleet and freezing rain during a winter storm – strong enough to knock out heat, electricity and phone service to your home, school or place of business – for days.
When a winter storm hits, homeowners can alleviate some of this immobilization and inconvenience by being prepared for severe winter weather in advance. Equip your home with enough emergency supplies to last four days without power or help. Include enough food and water, a first aid kit, batteries, flashlights, extension cords, battery powered clock/radio, a cellular phone, etc. Personal items such as cold-weather clothing for every family member, as well as a four-day supply of prescription medicines, blankets, toiletries and food and water for pets are also essential.
Personal Heat Supply
Make sure you have enough heating fuel in case regular fuel sources are cut off. If you have a wood stove or fireplace, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood. Buy or rent a power generator and know how to run it safely. Read “Your First Winter Must-Have: A Portable Generator” to learn more. Rent or buy space heaters that can run by generator or an alternate power supply such as gas or propane –to heat the air in your home as well as outside, if necessary. Review our infographic, “Portable Heaters: What You Need to Know.”
Add A Humidifier
Cold, dry winter air causes a variety of conditions in your home that can promote illness, as well as destroy property. Using a humidifier can raise low humidity levels 20 to 30 percent, helping to prevent colds and flu as well as bloody noses. Air moistened with a humidifier can help soothe the throat and bronchial tubes, reduce snoring, preserve the voice and moisturize skin. Humidified air protects wood floors and furnishings from splitting or cracking and keeps indoor plants healthier.
Using a humidifier will also make your home feel warmer. Experts say air with a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 10 percent humidity will feel like 67 degrees, but with 50 percent humidity, it will feel like it is 69 degrees. It will also control static electricity, with the added benefit of protecting electronic equipment from getting damaged. Humidifiers also monitor moisture levels in your home, discouraging too much moisture, which can contribute to the growth of bad organisms such as dust mites.
Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with the cold weather basics of winter emergency preparedness. For all other installments in this series, check out the post about snow removal, the post about insulating your home and the post about winterizing windows, doors and vents. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.