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Preparing for Inclement Weather

Prepping for a winter storm should be more about emergency items and absolute essentials than a shopping spree, according to NBC. When getting ready to wait out a blizzard, households must plan for immediate danger as well as long-term obstacles. Even after the storm blows through, supply chain interruptions and power outages could continue.

Top 5 Tips to Stay Safe during 2015 “Blizzard”

1) Ensure you have water: Power outages mean no water for homes that rely on wells, so families should stock up on drinking water. Filling up the bathtub before power is lost is also a good idea. The water can be used to flush the toilet if pumps stop working.

2) Buy non-perishable food: Families should have three days of non-perishable, ready-to-eat food items on hand. Stocking up on frozen pizzas won’t do any good if the freezer and stove aren’t working. Buy crackers, canned food and cereal.

3) Prepare for furnace failure: Even gas furnaces will not supply heat in a power outage since the fan and pilot are electric. Wood stoves and fireplaces are safe ways to heat the home, but no other indoor fires should ever be lit. Operating outdoor BBQs (including propane) inside and inhaling deadly carbon monoxide is the leading cause of death during a power outage. If you don’t have another heat source, dress warm and grab plenty of blankets.

4) Clear HVAC exhaust: Heavy snow can also disable a furnace by blocking its exhaust vent on the outside of the home. Be sure to keep it clear as snow drifts push up against the house.

5) Keep medical supplies stocked: Make sure the house has a supply of bandages, ointments and rubbing alcohol in case of cuts. Those who rely on daily prescriptions, such as insulin, should have an ample supply on hand.

Homeowners should not underestimate the danger caused by icy conditions. Even if snowfall only lasts a day or two, it can take much longer for life to return to normal. Staying warm and hydrated with proper food is essential for any families in the way of a blizzard. People with elderly neighbors or relatives should also perform wellness checks as often as possible, ensuring they staying warm and safe.

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