During extremely cold weather or winter storms, staying warm and safe can be a challenge. Winter storms can bring cold temperatures, power failures, loss of communication services and icy roads. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe, you should know how to prepare your home and your car before a winter storm hits.
On top of the frigid weather, January and February can bring high bills to members, especially those who use electric appliances and use electricity to heat their homes.
Be prepared before a winter storm hits by following these tips:
Take steps before the storm hits
Preparing your home and making a kit for your car are great ways to prepare for the inevitable frigid temperatures. Consider installing a backup generator. Central is working with Generator Supercenter to offer systems to members, sign up here.
Be sure and listen to weather forecasts and check your supplies before a winter storm or extremely cold weather. Though we can’t always predict extreme cold in advance, weather forecasts can sometimes give you several days of notice to prepare.
Have your vehicle serviced before winter weather is expected, replace any worn tires, keep the gas tank near full and replace any fluids needed in your car.
Prepare your home
Weatherproofing your home is an easy way to conserve energy and stay warm. Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls, caulk and seal doors and windows, and repair roof leaks and cut away branches that could fall on your home during a storm.
If you or a loved one are over 65 years old, place an easy-to-read thermometer in an indoor location where you will see it frequently. Our ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age. Older adults are more susceptible to health problems caused by cold. Check the temperature of your home often during the winter months.
Create an emergency car kit
It is best to avoid traveling during winter storms, but if it is necessary make sure these items are in your car:
- Cell phone, portable charger and extra batteries.
- Blankets, extra hats and gloves.
- Windshield scraper.
- Shovel to dig through snow.
- Battery-powered radio with extra batteries.
- Water and snack foods.
- First aid kit with any necessary medications.
- Tow chains or rope.
- Cat litter or sand to help tires get traction or road salt.
- Jumper cables.
- Hazard or other reflectors and emergency flares.
Want to learn more ways to be winter weather prepared? Visit CDC.gov.