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Make Your Home a Safer Place This Winter

Post Date:01/16/2018 12:06 PM

It’s winter time again and we’ve already seen the snow fly——more storms are coming. If you haven’t already, now is the time to make your home a safer place for winter.

Severe winter weather can cause a loss of power or burst water pipes. These events could last for hours or even days. Roads may be slick, and grocery shelves may have already been picked clean as people made last-minute preparation prior to a storm. 

Prior preparation will keep you off those slick roads and out of the grocery stores. And hopefully, you’ll be able to handle whatever the cold weather throws your way. Here are nine important ways you can prepare for winter storms:

1. Water - Start by having plenty of water on hand. This is the number one item you’ll need, for drinking, cooking, washing, and even flushing the toilet.

2. Food - Most people can live out of their pantry for up to three days or more. Those who have gas stoves or camping gear can even cook if the electricity is off. But having food on-hand that doesn’t need to be cooked is also important. FEMA recommends that we store comfort foods which are good morale builders.

3. Sanitation - Depending on the water situation, baby wipes and hand sanitizer may be the only way to stay clean. Save your grey water to use for flushing your toilet. (Grey water is gently used water from your bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines.)

4. Children - You may have already stored plenty of diapers, but remember baby food and/or formula as well. 

5. Pets - Most pets are part of the family. Don’t forget to store food for them too, and, of course, include them when determining the amount of water to store.

6. Light and Heat - Without power, you won’t have working lights or furnace. There are many sources for lights which run on batteries, crank, solar, etc. Like lights, there are many options for staying warm using propane or kerosene heaters. Remember to use heaters and lighting sources that are designed for indoor use. Have plenty of blankets or sleeping bags on hand.

7. Fuel - In the event you need to evacuate, have plenty of fuel in your car. Fill your propane tanks if you have a gas grill for cooking, and if you have a fireplace or wood burning stove, have wood on hand as well.

8. Entertainment - Once your phone dies, along with your laptop, and television, it’s good to have games, books, and other activities available, which occupy the time, and can bring the family together.

9. Clothing - Take time to review your wardrobe. Is it ready for winter? Change out the clothes in your Go Kits and remember the layering principle. Have good shoes/boots that will keep your feet warm and dry.

Take the time to review and apply these simple reminders so that your home is a safer place this winter.

For more information and/or ideas on these tips or other emergency preparedness questions, please call Jeffory Mulcahy, Sandy City Emergency Manager, 801-568-7279 or jmulcahy@sandy.utah.gov.