We knew it was an eventuality. Even though we had record high temperatures on Christmas Day with the hurricane-like weather, we're now experiencing the first snowfall "panic" here in Virginia. But, I'd like to encourage everyone that instead of making a mad rush to the grocery store and buying more milk and bread than you actually ever consume in an entire year, to prepare your home, family and pets more practically for the few days we may spend off the grid. Here are some tips to ensure safety for all during the inclement weather.
First and foremost in the event of a power outage, make sure there is enough food and water (more essential than milk!) for your family for 3 days. Make sure there is enough pet food as well, because they're a part of your family, too! Include in your emergency kit non-perishable food items along with a can-opener and one gallon of water per person, per day. Only second to food and water is a flashlight that you will absolutely need if the power goes out along with extra batteries. Fill all necessary prescriptions and make sure you have an emergency preparedness kit which includes other items such as:
-First Aid Kit
-Battery operated Radio
-Locate any potentially dangerous branches near power lines or your roof that could break from heavy snowfall or gusts of wind.If you have time, make sure your gutters are clear to allow water to easily drain or not cause significant damage if the water freezes.
-If you have time, make sure your gutters are clear to allow water to easily drain or not cause significant damage if the water freezes. Protect you
-Protect your home's pipes from freezing. Even if your home is warm, this is still a potential danger. Insulate your pipes and leave a constant drip of water in lower temperatures. If you don't have time to insulate, open your kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to circulate.
-Keep your attic no warmer than 5-10 degrees above the outside weather. This can prevent overall water damage to your home due to the melting and re-freezing of water on your home's roof.
-Carbon monoxide is a big danger during winter storms due to improper ventilation of furnaces and other fuel burning devices. Keep carbon-monoxide detectors on every level of your home.
It is recommended that you keep two emergency kits, one in your car (along with a full tank of gas) and one in your home, because you never know where you might get stuck in bad weather.
We are lucky enough to live in a temperate climate where a lot of these issues can usually be resolved in a few days, but that is no excuse for not being prepared!
Enjoy the first snow of the season, be safe, and hopefully you'll get to go sledding!
WandaFears, Realtor ABR CRS GRI WCR
Richmond, Va. Long and Foster Realtors