How Do Your Prepare Your Home for a Winter Storm in PA?
- Clear your roof of standing snow and ice and ensure your rain gutters and downspouts are flowing properly.
- Keep snowbanks from building up against your house. These can cause flooding when they melt.
- Have a shovel and sand or salt ready for clearing your walkway and driveway.
- Verify that all of your windows and doors are firmly shut and sealed properly.
- Add storm windows or plastic insulation over old, poorly insulated windows.
- Consider insulating your garage and basement to act as a thermal barrier.
- Fix all broken and loose shingles as well as any loose exterior elements — siding, soffits, etc.
- Protect or insulate exposed water pipes that run against the exterior wall of your home.
- Have your home heating system inspected by a professional.
- Stock up on oil, wood or other means of heating your home in a safe manner.
- Consider purchasing a secondary heating source — electric, wood, kerosene or coal-powered. However, make sure you understand the dangers of CO from burning fossil fuels.
How Do You Prepare Your Family for a Winter Storm?
- Stock up on food basics, including items that won’t perish if the power goes out.
- Have a stock of water in bottles in case pipes freeze or the municipal water delivery fails.
- Fill the bathtub with water. In addition to drinking, this water can also be used to flush the toilet if necessary.
- Ensure every family member has warm clothing layers available in case the heating goes off.
- Pay special attention to babies and children, as well as sick and elderly family members.
- Have several activities — such as board games, coloring books and a deck of cards — handy to fight boredom.
Think of OthersYour family and home are your priority, but it is also important to think of other people in your area that might need help. Do you have any elderly or isolated neighbors who may not be prepared for a storm? Check in on them when the weather turns bad and ensure they are safe and warm. While losing heat in a home is uncomfortable, an individual can stay warm as long as they’re warmly dressed with multiple layers.Stay together in groups where possible. This allows you to keep an eye on fragile friends and family and also helps the time pass more quickly. Children can especially feel housebound during a winter storm, so think of fun activities for them to enjoy. If the power goes out, the TV and other entertainment devices won’t work, so plan on having some non-electrical games and toys.Don’t forget your four-legged friends, either! Pets are at risk in cold, stormy conditions, so keep them safe and warm in the house. If they need to go outside to do their business, accompany them in a sheltered space — for instance, under a porch or awning — and bring them back in as soon as they’re done. Take care to ensure all farm animals and livestock are well fed and sheltered from the wind. Farm animals may be hearty, but they can suffer from extreme weather just like the rest of us.
How Do You Deal with Power Loss During a PA Winter Storm?
- Telephones and communication devices — tablets, computers, etc.
- Cooking appliances
- Fridges and freezers
- Medical devices and equipment