As sure as winter follows fall, winter storms aren’t far behind, either – just like the one that blew through Texas, leaving behind millions in damages. Take time to review a number of important reminders to keep you, your family and home safe during winter storms. Let’s review a handy pre-storm prep list:
During/After a Storm
Be attentive to severe weather warnings.
Leave your home if authorities order an evacuation, especially if your home is in an area that floods easily.
In frigid weather, if your power is likely to be out for more than a few days, you may want to call your plumber and ask about draining your home’s water pipes so they don’t freeze and burst.
Your automobile is a good place to charge your cell phone or stay warm during a storm, as long as you keep it well ventilated and don’t go to sleep while the motor is running.
You can always cook outside on a grill or camping cook-stove. However, never bring grills inside!
Foods in your refrigerator and freezer should be consumed quickly, particularly in the event of a potentially lengthy outage, before they have a chance to spoil. If the temperature is cold enough outside, food can always be placed in a cooler outside to prevent it from spoiling.
If you don’t have surge protectors or suppressors, unplug your sensitive equipment. Voltage irregularities can occur for any number of reasons during or after a storm, especially if there has been damage on or near your home. The safest thing to do is to unplug any sensitive electrical devices (TV, VCR, stereo, microwave, computer, answering machine, garage door opener, etc.).
After a storm, stay away from downed wires and trees that might have wires caught in them. Report any downed wire you may see to your local electric utility or call 911 Assume all downed wires are “live” and stay away.
Stay clear of all fallen tree limbs and electrical wires as well as anything they are touching such as puddles and metal fences.
If you’re in a vehicle and downed wires are on the car or across the road, stay in your car until emergency crews arrive to handle the energized wires.
It is safe to use a cell phone while inside your car.
Don’t drive over downed lines, and if a downed line is in or near water, keep your distance from the water, even a little puddle.