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Before, During and After a Winter Storm

  • During a winter storm, it is especially important to take precautions to ensure the safety of your family. The following winter safety tips provide you with measures to take before, during and after a winter storm.

    When a Storm Is Coming:

    • Listen to weather forecasts to ensure that you have sufficient warning prior to the storm's arrival.
    • Prepare to be isolated— remain hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine or alcohol.
    • Create a winter weather safety kit.
    During a Winter Storm:

    • Close rooms that do not require heat to ensure that your home retains warmth efficiently.
    • Keep winter clothing and blankets on hand.
    • Conserve physical energy.
    • Watch for signs of hypothermia such as slurred speech and confusion.
    • Watch for symptoms of frostbite, including white patches on the flesh and extremities (fingers, toes, ears and nose) as well as painful tingling or numbing.
    • Keep your home well ventilated.
    • Ensure that carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms are operational.
    After a Storm Has Passed:

    • Check your home. Proceed with caution when reentering your home if you were away during the storm, as there may be water damage or flooding.
    • Check your plumbing. If there is damage to your plumbing from frozen or leaking pipes, immediately shut off the water. Assess potential structural damage.
    • Check roof leaks or sags, external chimney damage and fallen tree branches that may have struck your home.
    • Check for gas leaks. Then ensure that electrical, water and sewage systems are functioning.
    • As a precaution, boil any tap water you intend to use in order to eliminate harmful bacteria.
    • In the event of a power outage, do not turn on your power breakers until after power has been restored. Once power has been restored, monitor performance by both sight and smell.
    • If you see any sparks or smell anything burning, immediately shut off your power supply.