Everybody loves a good Snow Day, when the cold fronts align and nature very kindly hands you a day off school or away from work. But what if that unexpected bonus turns into three days or more? What if that picturesque blanket of snow brings along an ice storm and downed power lines? Would you be ready?
Here are just a few things for your snowstorm checklist—before, during and after.
- Stock up on batteries for flashlights and battery-powered LED lights.
- If you have a generator, make sure it is fueled up and ready to go.
- If you have a fireplace, make sure it is clean and there’s plenty of wood.
- Ensure roofing, gutters, chimneys, weather stripping are in good condition.
- Ensure fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and carbon dioxide alarms are in proper working order.
- Stock up on canned goods, toilet paper, prescription medications, hand and foot warmers, and cash.
- Buy extra kitty litter and pet food, and sand and salt for the sidewalks.
- Charge all your electronics and buy a transistor radio so you can stay on top of the weather conditions.
- Make an emergency first-aid kit.
- Keep the thermostat up high for as long as you have electricity. Close off rooms that you don’t need.
- Turn water taps to a slow drip so they don’t freeze and burst.
- Unplug electrical items to avoid damage in the event of a power surge.
- Keep the fridge door shut. If the outage continues, move fridge and freezer items to the garage or outside to keep cold.
- Don’t leave candles unattended.
- Never use the oven as a heating device.
- Don’t forget to eat! Staying energized = staying warm. Stay hydrated as well, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, which will also cause you to feel the cold faster.
- Don’t travel unless you have to—i.e. in case of emergencies.
- Check up on family members or neighbours who may need your help.
- Check for damage due to falling trees or wind.
- Beware of downed power lines.
- Keep all pets inside.
- Shovel out and salt up!
To be on the safe side when you’re on the wrong side of Mother Nature, storm-proofing prep on the scale of the Doomsday could be in order. You don’t need to go so far as to create a fall-out shelter, but you should be prepared when the unexpected leaves you home alone.