December 29, 2021

Preparing Before a Winter Storm

We have officially entered the winter season in New England, meaning there will more than likely be winter storms approaching. These storms are often accompanied by extreme temperatures, power loss, and dangerous driving conditions. Here is what to do when you receive that first winter storm alert of the season.


1. Make a plan.

As with hurricane preparation, you should develop a plan for yourself and your family to communicate and evacuate in the event of a severe winter storm. Make sure that this plan is clear and communicated to everyone involved.


2. Weatherproof your home.

In case you do lose power in the storm, try to seal and weatherstrip all doors and windows to prevent heat from escaping. Insulate any water lines on exterior walls to lessen the likelihood of them freezing. Make sure to have any roof leaks repaired, and check your yard for any branches that could come off and damage your home or any power lines in the storm.


3. Have your chimney or flue inspected each year.

If you plan on using your fireplace or woodstove as backup heating when your power goes out, have your chimney or flue inspected each year to make sure it is safe to use.


4. Install and maintain a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.

Both of these devices are necessary to have, especially if you will be using a fireplace or woodstove. Generally, batteries in these devices should be replaced twice a year. Make sure to keep a fire extinguisher nearby in your home.


5. Prepare what you will need in the event of an evacuation.

Before the storm hits, make sure your car is ready to go. Fill it with gas, and ensure that antifreeze and wiper fluid levels are high enough. Make sure to prepare an emergency kit with critical items like a cell phone, charger, items to stay warm, a windshield scraper, a flashlight, water and food supplies, a first aid kit, medication, car safety items, items for your pet, and whatever else you may need. Prepare these items ahead of time, but do not evacuate or begin driving until it is deemed safe to travel.