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Surviving the Winter Storm: A Guide to Preparing Your Home and Family




As winter approaches and the threat of a severe snowstorm looms, it's crucial to be proactive in safeguarding your home and family. The harsh reality of prolonged power outages and treacherous conditions can be mitigated with careful planning. Don't wait until the first snowflake falls—start preparing now with these essential tips.


Stay Warm:


1. Generator Placement: Invest in a generator and place it outdoors, at least 20 feet away from windows, doors, or vents. This ensures proper ventilation and reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.


2. Space Heater Safety: If using a space heater, position it at least three feet away from furniture, curtains, or any flammable items to prevent fire hazards.


3. Fireplace Check: Ensure your fireplace is up to code before use. Stock up on firewood and follow safety guidelines to enjoy a cozy and warm alternative during power outages.


4. Warm Bedding and Clothing: Prepare for the cold with extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter coats to keep your family comfortable.


Let There Be Light:


1. Flashlights and Lanterns: Stock up on these, and don't forget extra batteries. Reliable lighting is essential during power outages.


2. Candles with Caution: While candles can be used as a last resort, never leave them unattended to avoid the risk of fire.


Stock the Pantry:


1. Bottled Water: Ensure an adequate supply before stores run out, as water availability can be compromised during severe winter storms.


2. Non-Perishable Foods: Stock up on canned goods, granola bars, nut butters, crackers, bread, and fruits like bananas and oranges that don't require refrigeration or cooking.


3. Baby and Pet Supplies: Have a few days' worth of supplies for infants and pets, including food and other essentials.


4. Cooler with Ice: In case of a power outage, a cooler with ice can help preserve perishable food.


Get Snow Gear:


1. Salt for De-Icing: Purchase rock salt or an environmentally-friendly alternative to melt ice on driveways, porches, and walkways.


2. Snow Removal Tools: Equip yourself with shovels and, if possible, a snow blower. Ensure your snow blower has sufficient gas.


3. Roof Rake: Safeguard your home from potential roof damage caused by heavy snow accumulation.


4. Car Supplies: Top off your car with antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, gas, and keep ice scrapers handy.


Prep an Emergency Kit:


1. Battery-Powered Radio: Stay informed about the storm with a battery-powered radio in case of internet and power outages.


2. Prescriptions: Ensure you have at least a week's supply of essential medications for your family.


3. Extra Cash: Keep some cash on hand in case ATM machines are not operational.


4. First Aid Supplies and Toiletries: Prepare a first aid kit with band-aids, antibacterial cream, and essential toiletries. You never know if you'll need to relocate temporarily.


5. Copies of Important Documents: Keep duplicates of vital documents like insurance policies and utility information in case of a swift evacuation.


Insurance:


  1. Check your insurance documents to make sure everything is up to date. 


  1. Make sure you read your wording especially around water escape to make sure you are covered in the unforeseeable event of a frozen pipe or a flooding of water. 


  1. Call your broker if you have any questions regarding your insurance policy or coverages. They will assist you with a full understanding of what is and isn’t covered. 


Remember, the key to weathering the storm is preparation. Stay indoors and off the roads if possible, ensuring the safety of yourself, your family, and your home. Embrace the winter wonderland and turn the challenge into an opportunity for a memorable snow day!


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