Winter storms can bring unprecedented damage or knock out power for days at a time. If you live in a frigid region, you probably know how dangerous these snowy storms can be. That’s why being adequately prepared for any type of winter emergency is a crucial step to staying safe and warm when the lights go out. There are a few things you can do both around the house and to beef up your personal knowledge of things like first aid that can be helpful during a disaster.
Around the House
The first thing you should do is use a snow load calculator to make sure your roof can handle the weight of snow that could build up on it during a blizzard. Ideally, you’d get this task done before the winter weather sets in so that if you have any problems you can fix them before a storm hits.
You also want to make sure you have rock salt on hand, probably stored in your garage, in case your driveway or walkways ice over. It can be incredibly dangerous to walk on slick ice, which could pose a problem if you need to leave your home. Pouring ice on your cement areas before the storm hits can help to keep ice from forming, and having it after the ice has settled in can create enough traction for you to safely cross frozen areas.
Items to Keep on Hand
Aside from keeping your home prepared, you’ll also want to make sure your family is prepared. Have a designated area to keep an emergency survival kit with things like extra blankets, warm clothes, water bottles, flashlights, and a first aid kit. This can come in handy if the power is suddenly disconnected and the storm is still raging. Having emergency food on hand is also smart in case you can’t use your kitchen appliances.
Although you might never have to deal with it, knowing the signs and symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia can be useful in a blizzard. The Red Cross is one organization that offers helpful tips on how to treat these conditions until you can find medical help. Having basic first aid knowledge, such as how to make a tourniquet, basic bandaging techniques, and what to do if someone faints can also be helpful in stressful emergency situations.
Preparing for a winter storm might seem stressful, but if you follow these tips you’ll be ready for anything!