The Snowman Will Cometh?

January 26, 2016

It has been a pretty mild winter so far, but it would seem an impossibility that we would escape without a winter storm or two. Preparing for a snow storm shouldn’t be too hard, as emergency preparedness messages have been a part of our daily living for some time. However, if you are one of the many who has not heeded these messages and do not have any emergency supplies in your home, don’t wait until the prediction of a snowstorm to begin preparations. Start today! 

  • If there is a medication that you must take daily, be sure that you always have several days worth during the winter months. 
  • Prepare for power outages.  Keep on hand a supply of candles, matches, a battery-powered radio, and a flashlight, both with fresh batteries, and an extra supply of food that doesn’t need cooking.  Milk now comes in a box and can be stored in your pantry.  Make a “storm box” (with batteries, food, candles, matches, etc.)  and store it away from general household use. 
  • Make a winter emergency kit for your car.  Include a small snow shovel, flashlight, flares, sand, or kitty litter, blanket, jumper cables, and a first aid kit.  Some non-perishable food would also be wise. 
  • Keep your car in good working condition.  Bald tires aren’t going to help you much in the snow.  Be sure the gas tank has enough fuel.  A properly working heating and defrosting system is very important.  Keep an ice scraper in the car. 
  • Use common sense when snow shoveling.  Shoveling places a great strain on the heart, and if you are not used to exercising, you can have a heart attack, regardless of your age.  If you know you can’t shovel snow or ice, make arrangements now to have someone help you.  Call your church or your community services to arrange for help.    
  • Listen to forecast reports so you can be prepared.  If snow is predicted, be sure you have boots, gloves, and a hat in case you get stranded or have to walk a distance. 
  • If bad weather is predicted (or happening!), don’t go anywhere unless it is really a necessity.  Stay where you are until the roads are sanded.  If you are caught out on slippery roads, drive slowly.  People forget you can not travel at the same speeds as you can when roads are dry.  Remember, if you start to skid, keep your foot off the gas and the brake.  Steer into the direction of the skid.  If you have antilock brakes, learn how to use them on ice.  They work differently than regular brakes. 
  • Walk defensively on ice.  Choose proper footwear that is warm and provides traction.  Avoid over-exhaustion; a simple walk in deep snow can be taxing. 
  • If you know an elderly or homebound person, make it your responsibility to help them prepare for bad weather (or any emergency.)  During a storm, try to make contact with them if you can. 
  • Make a cup of hot chocolate and curl up with a good book.  Or drag out monopoly and have a good long game. 

For a free information on storm safety, District residents (Bethany, Hamden, North Haven and Woodbridge) can call 203 248-4528.