Battling Against The Cold: Extreme Winter Weather Tips
Seven ways to prepare for winter emergencies
Winter can be mild in some years and a beast in others. Extreme weather can pose serious challenges to communities and individuals. Road conditions may make travel hazardous, and storms could cause power outages. It’s good to be prepared for the worst weather in any season. To help you prepare for winter emergencies, here are seven tips.
1. Plan Your Travel
Check your local weather and traffic reports before heading out. If your roads are not in good shape, consider postponing non-essential travel until the roads are cleared. It’s best not to travel on slippery roads unless you have no alternative.
2. Stock Your Vehicle
Carry items in your vehicle to handle common winter driving-related tasks and supplies you might need in an emergency, including: a snow shovel, broom and ice scraper; abrasive material (sand or kitty litter) in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow; jumper cables, flashlight and warning devices (flares and emergency markers); blankets for protection from the cold; a cell phone and charger; and water, food, and any necessary medicine.
3. Fuel Up or Charge Up
Keep your gas tank close to full whenever possible. Similarly, in the case of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, it is important to keep your battery charged and also to minimize the drain on the battery. In general, batteries with liquid electrolyte have reduced energy storage and delivery capabilities at lower temperatures. The battery drain due to heating can be minimized by keeping your electric vehicle as warm as possible during freezing temperatures. A common way to do this is plugging your vehicle in at night during the winter and keeping it inside a garage or carport if available.
4. Preparing for a Power Outage
Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity. Plan for batteries and other alternative power sources to meet your needs when the power goes out, such as a portable charger or power bank. Have flashlights for every household member. Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
5. Know Your Medical Needs
If you have unique medical needs that could be affected by inclement road conditions or power outages, talk to your medical provider about having a plan. Find out how long refrigerated medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
6. Using Appliances During Power Outages
Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home to help avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, camp stoves and charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home. Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment and electronics. Power may return with momentary surges or spikes that can cause damage.
7. Food Storage
Have enough nonperishable food and water. Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
Following these tips can help you weather the storm this winter. Cadence wishes you safe travels this winter season.
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Sources: Ready.gov, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.