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Blizzard Safety Tips

Watching a winter storm from the comfort of your home can have a relaxing effect, and as long as you remain inside looking out, you will probably stay safe. Blizzards can hit fiercely closing roads, causing power outages and exposing people and pets to sub-zero temperatures.

To avoid being a victim of one of these potentially disastrous snowstorms, take the following at home prep measures. These simple precautions will help you stay cozy and warm while ensuring your home is not affected by the extreme winter weather.

Remember the Boy Scouts’ motto, “Be Prepared!”

  • Assemble an emergency preparedness kit that includes first-aid supplies, flashlights, batteries and any other items you think you may need.
  • Charge your cell phone.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food items, especially water and canned goods.
  • Use a battery-powered radio for updates on weather conditions.
  • Store enough dry wood to heat your home with a fireplace or stove for two weeks.
  • Plan an evacuation route to a local shelter in case you lose power, and the house gets dangerously cold.
  • Prepare your home by ensuring it is adequately insulated and the pipes are wrapped with insulation.
  • Turn on the faucets to a slow trickle to keep the pipes from freezing.
  • Think about purchasing a home generator (outdoor use only!) to stay warm if you lose power.
  • Winterize your vehicle by checking the battery, heater, brakes, oil, antifreeze and windshield washer fluid.
  • Make sure you have an ice scraper, handheld broom, blankets, gloves, a hat, tire chains and a small shovel in your trunk.
  • Keep at least a quarter tank of gas to prevent your fuel line from freezing.

When the blizzard hits, stay safe with these suggestions

Stay inside

This piece of advice might sound like stating the obvious, but staying off the roads and remaining indoors is the best way to ensure your safety. After the wind subsides and the snow tapers off, you will want to get outside and clear the sidewalk. Be careful. Shoveling heavy snow can injure your back or even provoke a heart attack. Take breaks and stay hydrated!

Save the alcohol for later

Many people believe that a few shots of whiskey will help them stay warm. The truth is that too much of it can have the opposite effect. Alcohol can cause dehydration. It interferes with the body’s internal thermometer, preventing shivering and causing a quicker loss of body heat.

Dress in layers

Wearing three or more layers of clothing is an effective way to insulate your body. A light-weight jacket or sweatshirt underneath a windbreaker and winter coat will keep you comfortable in freezing temperatures. A ski cap, earmuffs and gloves will protect your head and extremities.

Be aware of the symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia

Dizziness, exhaustion and extreme shivering are symptoms of hypothermia. Symptoms for frostbite include numbness, skin discoloration or waxy-feeling to the skin. If you think you’re affected by either of these, call 911.

Protect your pets

Blizzards are potentially dangerous for pets. If the snow is deep, walk your dog on a leash, and add a colorful tag or cloth to its collar for easy identification. Keep in mind that melting ice can be painful to their paws.

Keep the portable generator outside

If you have a generator as an alternate power source, do not use it inside, including the basement, garage or crawlspace. The engine’s fumes contain carbon monoxide that is particularly dangerous to children, the elderly and pets.

Use flashlights instead of candles

If a blizzard knocks out the power to your home, do not use candles, if possible. Flashlights are a safer alternative in any household but especially so around children and pets.

Contact your insurance company if a winter storm has damaged your property

Don’t get caught unprepared when hazardous winter weather hits. Talk to the insurance advisors at White Cloud Insurance. They are ready to help you ensure you have the right coverage for your needs and budget. Use our convenient contact form, call us at 305-556-1488 or send us a message at hello@accelinsurance.com to get started.