There are few geographic areas where you can avoid potentially extreme weather during at least part of the year. In fact, if you live in an area like the Northeast United States, you are probably used to having to prepare for huge blizzards, tropical storms, or hurricanes depending on what time of year it is. In case you are new to the necessity of weather preparedness, or you are just looking for some tips you might not have been aware of, these are some tips to help you prepare for and survive a big storm.
Make a List of Important Contacts and Store it Safely
Whatever type of storm is heading your way, there is no way to predict exactly what will happen, or what services you might end up requiring. This is why it is prudent and even necessary to make a list of various contacts, and put it in a safe place. It is best to make this list the old fashioned way with pen and paper in case the power goes out, and your devices eventually lose power. These are some of the contacts to put on the list: Fire and Rescue, police, local government offices, local emergency management, nearby hospitals and other medical facilities, or the local media. Be sure to store these contacts someplace that will be safe and out of the way, yet easy to find in an emergency.
Put Together a Supply Package
There are some supplies you will definitely need to keep on hand no matter what your predicted situation. Some of the most important supplies include as much water as possible, at least a gallon per day per person. Enough food for at least a few days, preferably all non-perishable items. First-aid supplies, a hand-crank powered radio, flashlights and batteries, extra trash bags, and a solar charger for mobile phones.
Protect Your Perishables
In the event you lose power, do not immediately write off what is in your refrigerator or freezer. Assuming that you keep the doors closed, your food should last for up to 24 hours without power. However, it is important to remember not to open the freezer or refrigerator door to maximize freshness.
Protect Your Pipes
If you lose heat during cold weather, your pipes can and will freeze. Keep some towels on-hand to soak in hot water — use your stove if necessary — and wrap around your pipes to prevent freezing. Make sure the rest of your house is properly maintained as well. Patch up any leaks in the roof, or call in roofers to make sure you don’t have any weak areas. Be sure your other appliances are all up to date as well.
Keep Matches Around
Matches are another good preparedness tool. You can use matches to start burners on your stove if the electricity goes out, as well as heat up keys if your locks freeze.
These are some of the most important ways to prepare for a big storm. More than anything it is important to prepare thoroughly and conscientiously so as to protect your family and property from the unthinkable.
Brooke Chaplan is a writer and outdoor enthusiast living in New Mexico. She love to hike, bike and run. In her research on pipe protection she found that roofers in Atlanta GA recommend checking the attic pipes before a big storm. Contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.