Even with all the technology we have today, winter storms can become very strong, very fast. So, if you see or hear in the news that a snow storm or blizzard may hit your region, be alert and be prepared.
The Red Cross International shares their recommendations to be prepared and safe before, during and after the storms. Make sure to print this list because can save the life of your family.
Know the Difference
First of all, you need to learn the ‘lingo’, meaning you need to understand what type of storm is expected to occur in your area. Winter Weather Advisory means winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. Winter Storm Watch, means winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours, and finally Winter Storm Warning, which means very severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours and you need to be prepared.
How to Prepare for a Winter Storm
. Fill your gas tank if you have a car.
. Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside.
. Prepare a survival kit with water and food for at least 3 days and a gallon of water for people per day. Include also a flashlight, a radio, a first emergency kit, medications that you and your family needs regularly.
. Put your documents and passports in a plastic bag (with other important documents)
. Have your cellphones charged (in case you lose power during or after the storm) and all your emergency contact list (family, doctors, etc) on paper.
. Call close friends and family before the storm to know their plans, and where they are staying. Plan a way to stay in contact in case you or them lose power or have no phone access.
. Have extra cash available
. Have all the pet supplies ready
. Have extra blankets and winter bedding ready
During the storm
. Listen to the local news or the NOAA weather radio
. Keep your home warm, and run water frequently in order to prevent the pipes from freezing
. Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold
. Avoid driving or going outside. If is necessary, be sure to have all the supply kits in your car
. Don’t go outdoors to take photos or for fun, you can suffer hypothermia or frostbite
. If you need to go outside, always wear warm loose fitting clothing, in several layers, hats and gloves.
. Check on your neighbors and people living alone
After the storm
. Only go out once authorities say it’s ok
. Avoid driving, roads may be still covered with snow or ice
. Be careful with falling trees and cables
. If the weather permits, and everything it’s working, you and your family can enjoy some time on the snow, with the sled. Be sure that everybody is wearing gloves, hats, snow boots and snow suits if is possible.
You also can download the Emergency App from the Red Cross and keep track of everything you need to go through a winter storm without any bad surprise.