With the impending winter storm approaching, residents of the Triangle who are new to the area or just not used to a North Carolina snowstorm may not know what to expect. Even residents who have lived further north and are accustomed to snowy conditions may not be prepared for the challenges that are unique to experiencing a winter storm in the Triangle. Here are some ways to brave the conditions in the safest and warmest ways possible.
Prepare for a Potential Power Outage
Winter conditions can often wreak havoc on power lines, especially in areas where it is not completely cold enough for trees to have lost their leaves. Important items to have on hand in the event of a power outage include:
- Bottled Water: have enough for several days
- Batteries for flashlights, electronics, etc.
- A Battery-operated cell phone charger
- Foods that can be eaten without cooking
- A first aid kit on each floor of your home
- Several flashlights
- Large coolers: put refrigerated food items in the cooler with ice in the event that the power goes out and the refrigerator is not running
- Board games and cards
- Manual can opener
- Extra blankets and sleeping bags
- Extra warm clothing
- Rock Salt
- Snow shovels
Create a Car Kit
While most places in North Carolina close during a winter storm, you may need to drive in the weather for an emergency or work purposes. If this is the case, you will want to make sure that your tires are properly inflated and have good tread before the storm arrives. Pack a few items in your car to help with stabilizing the vehicle and for self-care in the event that you get stuck on the side of the road. Place a heavy-weighted object in your trunk (a bag of cat litter is a great example). In your glove compartment, have a flashlight, extra batteries, a car charger for your cell phone, protein bars and snacks, bottled water, extra gloves, and an extra winter hat. Flares can also be helpful to keep in the trunk, in case you end up in an accident and need to grab someone’s attention.
Avoid Injury Outside
While it is recommended to stay inside during a winter storm, the kids may want to play outside, or it may be necessary to shovel the sidewalk. Make sure that you walk slowly and pay attention to your footing to avoid taking a tumble on a black ice patch. If you are monitoring little ones outside, remember to watch for signs of frostbite, such as blue limbs or earlobes and numbness in the extremities. Immediately bring anyone inside that you may suspect has frostbite. Avoid touching metal surfaces as much as possible, and be sure to shovel and salt walkways every few hours, as needed. Be aware of possible overexertion while shoveling as well and take breaks when necessary.
Avoid Frozen Pipes
In order to avoid frozen pipes, run water through your faucets at a trickle. This will keep water flowing through the pipes and lessen the chance of them freezing and affecting your plumbing. In the event that they do freeze, have extra rags and a bucket for pouring hot water on them ready. You will want to remove the insulation before doing this.
Stay Up To Date With Conditions
There is often important information communicated by local media during a storm, especially one causing massive damage and outages in the area. In order to ensure that you are able to stay abreast of current conditions, make sure your cell phone is fully charged while the power is on. Have a fully-charged laptop nearby as well. If your local TV station has an app, download it ahead of time for weather updates. Keep a spare battery-operated radio handy in the event the power goes out and your devices are drained.
While winter storms in the South can be scary and uncertain since we do not experience them often, there are many ways that preparing ahead of time can make weathering the storm much less stressful.
The Jim Allen Group provides access to information on this blog/website as a public service for educational purposes only. Although reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all of the information made available is current, accurate, and complete…[read more]