Tips to deal with winter weather worries
Follow these tips to stay safe when winter storms strike.
- Furnace goes out: Call an HVAC professional. Use an alternative heat source such as a wood stove or fireplace in the meantime. Do not use your stove/oven as a source of heat. This increases your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Power outage: To protect your food, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. An unopened freezer should keep food frozen up to 48 hours. Food should remain cold in an unopened refrigerator for 24 hours. If power is out for a long period of time, snowdrifts can be used as a makeshift freezer for food. You should unplug all equipment that will automatically turn on when power is restored or that may become damaged due to voltage irregularities. Use flashlights for emergency lighting. Do not use candles. Do not run a generator inside a home or garage.
- Keep a water supply: Keep plenty of bottled water on hand. If no water is available, you can melt snow in an emergency. Bringing water to a rolling boil for one minute will kill most germs.
- Away from home: Keep your temperature at least 65 degrees. Have someone check on your house regularly while you're away.
- Cold air drafts: Caulk gaps in windows and doors or add weather stripping.
- Snow removal plan: Have a plan ready if you get snowed in. If you can, call ahead of time and check with snow removal companies. Check with your neighbors to see if there is a snow blower you can borrow.