In a perfect world, everyone would spend a winter storm curled up by the fire with a good book or a line-up of binge-worthy television programs. But fast changing weather can make the reality of a winter storm a little less idyllic. In the event you find yourself without power during a storm – or worse, out on the road – here are a few tips for staying safe.
If your power goes out: You will want to stay both safe and warm. This means:
- NEVER use a generator, grill, camp stove or charcoal burning device inside or in any partially closed area, as this could lead to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Use flashlights instead of candles to prevent the risk of fire.
- Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia, including: loss of feeling, white or pale appearance in extremities, uncontrollable shivering, disorientation, slurred speech, drowsiness and exhaustion. You can find information on what to do if these symptoms are detected here.
If driving is absolutely necessary: Driving is dangerous during and immediately after a winter storm and you should make plans to stay off the road when advisories and watches are issued. If you MUST drive in winter weather, make sure you keep an extra Ready kit in the trunk of your car along with a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and jumper cables. You can find more information on driving in winter weather here.
If stranded in your car: If you find yourself stranded in your car during a winter storm, you will have to make the decision to stay or go. These criteria can help you make that decision:
Stay in your car if…
- Rescue is likely
- There is no safe location visible or nearby
- You do not have appropriate clothing for going outside
- You do not have the ability to call for help
- A safe location is readily accessible
- You have visibility and outside conditions are safe
- You have appropriate clothing
We hope the next snow storm finds everyone safe and warm in their homes – but when situations dictate otherwise, a little preparation and information will help you weather the storm.