Tuesday, January 7, 2014

5 Tips for Winter Storm Preparedness




1)Bug IN. Staying put avoids most of the common causes of injury or death. If you are advised to stay in your homes, just do so. Most of the problems happen when people are out an about when told to stay put. Traffic accidents, exposure and heart attacks while shoveling snow are the most common causes of death.

2)Stock up. Have plenty of water and food. The food should have long shelf life, require no refrigeration and need little or better yet, no preparation to eat. Canned food is a good idea. Have at least a camping stove or propane cooker to prepare a few hot drinks too. Have medications for any illness or medical condition. Have plenty of battery operated lights, LED lights and lanterns. Remember that headlamps are particularly useful. Have a battery operated radio (NOAA radios in USA) to stay updated. As alternative forms of heating, wood stoves are of course a great choice, but if not possible you can have a kerosene heater such as a Keroheat or a portable propane heater such as a Mr. Heater. Rememeber to ventilate the room and have a carbon monoxide detector installed!

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3)Have your House Winter Ready. Make sure your plumbing doesn’t freeze. Even when not at home, leave the heat on to at least 55F, and leave faucets running a bit of water. If you need to stay warm, you can use plastic tarp and tape to further insulate windows.

4)Even if staying put, have your car ready for winter. Antifreeze, full tank and winter car kit including chains.

5) Be Ready for winter yourself. Having several layers of clothing will keep you warmer than just a few ticker ones. Know your limitations, if you have to shovel snow, do so at a relaxed paced and take frequent breaks.

FerFAL

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to point out that if your power is out because of a snow/ice storm, then it's plenty cold enough outside to keep your perishables fresh. Just make sure you have a secure location for your foodstuffs so they don't wander off (an outdoor shed or enclosed, unheated garage is fine). Also, depending on the actual outside temperature, you may need somewhere slightly warmer so that it doesn't freeze on you.

FerFAL said...

That's true, but keep in mind its a good idea to have a food stash that isnt just oriented for winter blackouts, you got summer blackouts as well and food that needs to be kept in the fridge doenst last nealry as long as canned food which is often safe for many years, even past its expiration date. But you are right of course, with freezing 20 below temps you can use a box outside as a freezer (if you have those temps inside you have one heck of a problem!)

Anonymous said...

Battery less lighting - UVPaqlites. Glow in dark panels or tubes that absorbs ANY light and has an almost limitless shelf life.

Its a low power glow stick that never runs out - well worth looking into. Imo, the flat sheets throw out more light than the tube units, but that may be just a perception.

Don Williams said...

1) Low weight hi loft clothing/bedding --e.g, down or synthetic parkas and comforters -- can keep you warm even in freezing weather if your power goes out -- since your dwelling's walls block wind chill.

I've seen some pretty cheap sleeping bags rated for 15 deg
Fahrenheit -- which would handle temps below zero if used inside a building and if occupant wore heavy clothing inside the bag.

2) One problem in such conditions, however, is maintaining a water supply --especially if pipes freeze. A canteen or water storage container will freeze and may burst as the ice forms and expands.

An insulated ice chest with a handwarmer put in every day may keep water liquid --by keeping cold OUT versus in.

3) Woodstoves and fireplaces need to have their chimney's cleaned --every year if used a lot -- or creosote will build up and can cause a house fire. Which is a disaster in severe weather --fire trucks can't reach you, water hoses/hydrants don't work, water soaked material freezes into ice,etc.

4) As in so many cases, the poor are at higher risk -- if neighbors in an apartment building use juryrigged heating sources and the building catches fire, then all occupants are in deep trouble.

A search on Google News for "house fire" shows 81,400 RECENT hits --with many of the links indicating people were killed.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, chemical glow sticks while fine as markers are pretty useless as flashlights.

multi-mode (high/med/lo/flash/strobe) LED flashlights running off a single AA battery are cheap enough for everyone to have several.

I'm also a big fan of 6V lanterns now that they come with LEDs instead of filament bulbs for around $5 (Rayovac @ Wal-Mart, Eveready @ Lowe's Hardware).

Switching to LEDs extends run-time 10x vs. the old filament bulb, even on the included basic carbon-zinc battery.