How to Prepare for an Ice Storm
We are getting ready for an ice storm this evening for our neck of the woods. Here are some tips for helping you to get ready.
First realize that the electricity will go off. If you’ve had outages in your area before then you’ll know about how long these will last. You will probably want to add a few days to the length of time you normally get your power back, especially if the forecast is calling for more cold weather.
If you have some warning here are some things to do before hand:
1. Make sure that you have a source of heat or somewhere you can go to stay warm. If you have back up heat, make sure that it works and you have enough fuel to run it for a few days.
2. Make sure you have gas for your grill or charcoal if you use that. DO NOT USE YOUR GRILL INDOORS.
3. If you have a generator make sure that you have gas and that it runs.
4. Make sure that you have the gas in your cars tanked up.
5. Do the chores that require electricity before the storm hits – wash clothes etc.
6. Charge your cell phones, lap tops etc.
7. Make sure you have enough canned food to last several days.
8. Make sure you have water. Fill your bath tub with water. IF YOU HAVE SMALL CHILDREN DO NOT FILL THE BATHTUB… just get some extra jugs.
9. Lights – make sure you have batteries (and extra batteries) for flashlights and fuel for latterns.
10. Let your friends and family know what is going on. Check on your neighbors both before during and after the storm.
11. Let your kids know what is going on and what your plan is. Make sure they will have something to do during this time. Ensure also that you have plenty of food for your pets.
12. Make sure that you have some cash.
13. Make sure your smoke detectors and more importantly carbon monoxide detectors have batteries. Plan on heating one room. The heat room is the one you will definitely want to have the carbon monoxide detector in.
During the Ice Storm –
1. If you notice the lights beginning to flicker, unplug all your sensitive electrical items (tv, computers, etc). This will help to prevent power surges. If you have electric heat you will want to make sure that you turn it off.
2. Stay inside. We had a severe ice storm several years ago and one person was killed because of a tree falling.
3. Make sure you are not traveling during the storm.
After the Storm –
1. Carefully survey the damage. If you have downed power lines in your yard STAY AWAY from them. Contact your power company. One place you will also want to carefully inspect is the point where your power comes into your house. This may have been damaged from the ice. If there is damage again tell your power company.
2. When you run your generators make sure they are outside. Make sure that your heat source is properly vented.
3. Keep the fridge doors closed.
4. Keep your cabinets open to prevent pipes from freezing.