Whether at home or on the road, there are things you can do when faced with extreme winter weather to help you and your family stay safe, comfortable and injury free.
Preparing Your Home for an Outage
In the event of a power outage, have an emergency kit readily available in your home. Most importantly, keep several days’ supply of these items:
Food that needs no cooking or refrigeration, such as bread, crackers, cereal, canned foods and dried fruits. Remember baby food and formula for young children.
Water stored in clean containers, or purchased bottled water (5 gallons per person) in case water pipes freeze.
Medicines any family member may need.
Additional items to have on hand:
- Flashlight or battery-powered lantern
- Extra batteries
- Battery-powered radio and clock
- Dry firewood or kerosene (for a kerosene heater)
- Multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher
- First aid kit
- Extra blankets
- Non-electric can opener
- Snow shovel
- Rock salt
- Special-needs items (diapers, hearing aid batteries, etc.)
- Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns rather than candles, if possible.
- Do not leave candles unattended. Keep them away from furniture, draperies and other flammable materials.
- Turn off electric ranges or space heaters during a power outage to prevent the possibility of a fire if you are away when power is restored.
- Plug in appliances to the generator using individual heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords.
- Never use a charcoal or gas grill indoors.
- Never use an electric generator indoors, inside the garage or near the air intake of your house.
- Do not use generators or appliances if they are wet because of the risk of electrocution.
- Do not burn paper in a fireplace.
- Use only the type of fuel your heater is designed to use — don’t substitute.
Prepare Your Car
Avoid dangerous winter travel problems by planning ahead. Service your vehicle as often as the manufacturer recommends. Keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. In addition, every fall, do the following:
- Have the radiator system serviced; add antifreeze, as needed.
- Check the battery.
- Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
- Replace any worn tires and check the air pressure.
Winter Emergency Kit for Your Car
- First aid kit
- Waterproof matches
- Windshield scraper
- Jumper cables
- Road maps
- Tool kit
- Paper towels
- Bag of sand or cat litter
- Tow rope
- Tire chains
- Collapsible shovel
- Container of water
- Non-perishable food
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Compressed air with tire sealant
- Brightly colored cloth