A baker’s dozen of Winter Preparedness Tips.
It’s coming, get ready NOW!
- Time for prepping is NOW!
- Winterize Your Home. Check the most common areas in your home that leak heat, such as recessed lighting, window frames, doorframes, attic hatch, plumbing and electrical bypasses in the attic, and electrical outlets. Use weather stripping, door sweeps, foam, and caulk to seal up the leaks. Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure furniture, carpeting, or drapes do not block them.
- Stay Connected. Keep emergency phone numbers in an accessible place. Use the buddy system and check on your neighbors regularly. Turn down your heat and keep warm by spending time visiting family and friends. Take turns gathering at different homes on different days. Tell your local fire department about anyone who might need special assistance in an emergency.
- Take Care of Your Health. Wash hands often, especially when handling food, and after coughing, sneezing and using the bathroom. Get enough sleep each day. Drink plenty of fluids and seek routine preventive care to maintain your health throughout the winter. If you have not already done so, get a seasonal and H1 N1 flu shot – contact your health care provider.
- Have a Family Emergency Plan. Have a plan with your family in case you need to evacuate your home or if you need to shelter in place. Teach children how and when to call 911.
- Keep Essential Supplies on Hand. During the winter season, keep critical supplies on hand such as a battery powered radio, prescription medications, flashlights (With extra batteries), matches, first aid kit, baby food, formula, diapers, bottled water (1 gallon per person per day), can opener and a 3-day supply of canned or dried foods, Chaninsaw , gas and bar oil.
- Conserve Heat and Energy. Only heat the rooms you need – close vents and doors of unused rooms. On winter nights, put an extra blanket on the bed and turn down your thermostat more. Visit http://www.staywarmnh.org/for additional heat and energy conservation ideas.
- Practice Fire Safety. Keep candles at least one foot away from anything that can burn and put them out before you go to bed. Space heaters should be kept at least 3 feet away from walls or sofas. Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home, even for a short time. Replace a worn or cracked heating blanket or one where the electric cord is frayed. When you change your clocks, you should also check the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Dress Warmly and Stay Dry. Dress in several layers to maintain body heat, paying special attention to feet, hands, nose and ears. Wear boots with nonskid soles. Infants and older adults are more susceptible to the cold and may require warmer clothing for protection. Wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers will hold more body heat than cotton. Stay dry – wet clothing chills the body rapidly. To learn more about the early warning signs of hypothermia and frostbite, visit http://www.bt. cdc.gov/disasters/winter/pdf/cold guide. pdf
- Avoid Ice and Overexertion. Avoid shoveling if you have a history of heart trouble or are out of shape, unless your doctor says it is okay. If possible, push snow in front of you. If you have to lift it, pick up small amounts and lift with your legs, not your back. Walk on sidewalks if possible and avoid ice patches. If sidewalks are covered in snow and ice and you must walk in the street, walk against the flow of traffic and as close to the curb as you can. Wear a bright scarf or hat or reflective gear so drivers can see you.
- Stay Informed. Stay current on the weather reports for the week and plan accordingly. Check your emergency supplies whenever a period of extreme cold is predicted. Dial 2-1-1 to connect to local resources. If you are facing unemployment or are in need of community assistance resources.
- Winterize your car. Ensure you have adequate blankets, shovels, rope, gloves, snow tires, sand, emergency heat packs, fire making materials, food and water in case you get stranded in your vehicle!
- Snow Removal. Test your snow blower, ensure adequate gasoline, fresh oil and working blades. Also ensure your shovels, salt and sand are handy.
- GENERATOR.- Ensure it functions properly. Make sure you have gas and oil and a good way to hook it up without carbon monoxide coming back into your house.
Thanks to the Town of Bedford, NH for this intel.