Winter Preparedness – Part One
Preparedness is a year round proposition, but the different seasons bring unique challenges you need to incorporate in to your plans. Cold temperatures, icy driving conditions, home heating hazards are just some of what winter brings.
I’m going to do a quick run down on some specific winter issues and how to enhance your plans and even your kit of emergency supplies.
• Dressing for Winter Weather – Cold temperatures dictate having more layers of warm clothing in your evacuation and vehicle kits. If you are displaced by fire, flood or some other crisis you will be more comfortable, not to mention safer, if you have a selection of clothing appropriate for the weather. That includes footwear, nothing worse than tackling icy sidewalks or snowdrifts in flip-flops. Each geographic location has its own winter weather so use your local knowledge to find the right mix for your climate.
• Traveling by Car – Proper winter driving skills are outside the scope of what we do here at 2 Bee Ready. But winter weather can include getting stuck in your vehicle due to snow, ice or other hazards. Your vehicle kit should contain special winter provisions such as tire chains, sand or kitty litter and a shovel for helping tires gain traction and ice scraper for your windows. Another tip is, keep that fuel tank full, it gives you more options if trouble arises and has a side benefit in really cold climates, it helps prevent freezing condensation that can stall your engine.
• Home Heating Appliances – It’s the season to keep warm by the fireplace (if you are the romantic type) or by way of a space heater. Both have their associated hazards and it’s a good time to go over them.
- Fireplace/Wood Stove: Get your chimney inspected and cleaned annually by a professional. Make sure there are no flammable objects nearby. Use a screen in front of your fireplace if you don’t have those glass doors. Never use flammable liquids to get your fire going, Double check your smoke alarms are working properly.
- Space Heaters: Use only heaters approved by certified testing laboratories, like UL. Place the heater on a level, nonflammable surface. Keep kids and pets away. Never go to sleep with a space heater running, in fact if you are not in the immediate area of the heater, turn it off. Triple check those smoke alarms, and think about having a CO (carbon monoxide) alarm in your home too!
2 Bee Ready will be bringing you winter safety and preparedness tips all season long. Bundle up, stay warm, stay prepared and always strive “2 Bee Ready” for whatever comes your way.