I’m having a hard time recalling another year when we’ve had as many snow storms. In fact, this year every state but one has had snowfall.
While New England is usually more equipped to handle blizzards, everyone could use some reminders about home safety during a blizzard:
- Power outages could last hours or days. Be sure that your cell phone is fully charged. If you exclusively use a cell phone, consider adding a land line for emergencies. Calling 911 from a cell phone, does not automatically inform the emergency operator of your location so be sure to immediately provide your location. And while wireless carriers are required to allow 911 calls to be placed even if a phone is not activated, a phone not associated with a phone number will prevent an emergency operator from reaching you if disconnected.
- Have extra batteries on hand and know where flashlights are located.
- Have a cooler that you can pack some food in and store in the snow to keep cold if need be. Meats, eggs and cheeses should be thrown out if power is out for longer than eight hours.
- Never turn on a gas stove for heat. Purchase a battery-powered space heater. Be careful when using candles for light sources. Consider purchasing battery operated candles to place throughout the house, especially on the stairs.
- If you live in an area that gets bad storms regularly, consider investing in an emergency generator. Portable generators should NEVER be used in the garage or in the home. If you have a permanent generator installed be sure you use an experienced and licensed electrician
- If there is a downed power wire in your yard or driveway, don’t go near it! Electricity can travel through the ground and tree limbs so use caution even if you’re nearby. If someone has touched a wire, do not attempt to help as you can become a victim as well, but do contact 911 immediately for aid.
- Drifting snow or snow falling from roofs can bury a home’s exhaust and air intake vents. When the vents are blocked they're no longer able to supply the furnace with the needed fresh air to operate and most will automatically shut off. Be sure to frequently check the vents making sure they are clear. If you need to clear the snow away use a broom or purchase a roof rake with telescopic extension handle rather than a shovel, to help avoid damaging the vents.