Are You Ready for the Snow?
Depending on where you live in the Northwest, there’s a good chance you’ll see some snow in the coming months. We’ve compiled several things you can do to get ready for the coming colder temperatures and how you and your family can more easily weather any storm.
Check the News
Regardless of the media, all of the news outlets use the same language when describing storms. Listen for these important distinctions to know what is coming, including:
- Winter Storm Watch means there is a potential for hazardous winter weather in the next 48 hours. This is your chance to get to the store and stock up on water, batteries, and non-perishable food.
- Winter Weather Advisory means winter conditions could cause significant delays on the road. Plan other routes or work from home if possible.
- Winter Storm Warning indicates severe and life-threatening weather for the next 24 hours. This includes snow, ice, and/or wind.
Create an Emergency Kit
The American Red Cross has created a Winter Storm Safety Checklist that lists out how to prepare for an emergency, such as a snowstorm. Additionally, we’ve put together an article titled Preparing for an Emergency with a 72-Hour Supply Kit. Both offer advice on what to pack, how to plan, and what to do to stay safe and warm.
Get a Generator
Huge storms can cause blackouts – especially when ice forms on powerlines or wind knocks out the electrical infrastructure. With a generator and a few heavy-duty extension cords, you’ll be able to charge up your phones, run a space heater or pellet stove hopper (if you don’t have a wood stove or fireplace), and keep the food in your freezer and refrigerator from going bad. Just be sure you have some fuel handy to keep that generator running until the power resumes. You’ll find several generators to choose from at your Northwest owned and operated Coastal.
Coastal tip: If the power does go out, be sure you unplug your computers and non-essential electrical components to avoid issues when the power returns.
Keep Your Outdoor Grill Outside
Hundreds of Americans die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning due to using a charcoal, pellet, and gas-powered barbecue inside their home as a heat source. While using your barbecue to cook food during electrical outages is a good idea, it’s best to keep that grill outside. Find other ways to keep warm, including wearing extra layers.
Coastal tip: check the batteries in your home’s carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working properly.
Winterize Your Vehicle and Home
Fill the gas tank on all your vehicles before the storm hits, and be sure to check the antifreeze levels, heater and defroster, lights, and battery. In your home, add weather stripping to any doors and windows that need it, and have a plan to remove excess snow from your rain gutters and roof. Additionally, know how to turn off the water to your home if a pipe bursts. You’ll also want to insulate any water pipes that are exposed to outdoor temperatures.
Coastal tip: be sure the fire extinguishers in your home are fully charged just in case of a fire during a snowstorm. Inaccessible roads can make travel for fire department personnel difficult if not impossible.
FEMA Has a Guide
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has put together a guide titled How to Prepare for a Winter Storm. Download a copy, give it a read, and be sure to fill out the last several pages so that you and your family are prepared.
Coastal Has What You Need
Your Northwest owned and operated coastal has what you need to weather an oncoming storm. Stop by today and chat with the pros in our Hearth and Home department. They can help you decide on the right wood, pellet or gas stove for your home. Plus, we carry snow shovels, bags of ice melt for your sidewalks, freeze-dried camping food for those just-in-case moments, as well as warm and water-repelling jackets, pants, and work clothes.