Community Manager
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Content provided courtesy of USAA.

 

 

Winter storms can cause ice to build up on trees and utility lines, leading to power outages. Plan ahead so you and your family will be ready in case of a blackout during an ice storm or blizzard.

 

  • Keep enough nonperishable supplies to feed your family for at least a few days. The Red Cross recommends stocking up on plastic foam coolers to help keep food at a safe temperature, as well as using a quick-read digital thermometer to check the internal temperatures of food. In addition to food, remember medicines, diapers and pet food.
  • Stock an emergency kit with water (1 gallon per day per person), flashlights, batteries, a battery-powered radio and first-aid supplies.
  • Keep a phone that is not cordless in the home, suggests the Red Cross. It's likely to work during a power outage.
  • To keep warm, dress in layers of loose clothing, put on a hat and grab extra blankets.
  • If you have a backup heat source, such as a fireplace or wood-burning stove, don't leave it unattended, and be sure it is properly ventilated, either via a chimney or a direct vent through an exterior wall. See manufacturer's guidelines, if available, and have a professional inspect the ventilation system every year.
  • If you use a portable generator, keep it outdoors. Its exhaust contains odorless-yet-deadly carbon monoxide fumes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.