When a winter storm hits it is too late to prepare. At that point, you just have to bunker down and “weather the storm”. Areas such as Paducah, Kentucky get enough snow each year to know how to enjoy a snow day but aren’t necessarily prepared for spending days without power in freezing temperatures. It has happened before in this area and it could happen again. It is best to prepare in advance so that you don’t have to stress during a winter storm warning.
First Things First:
A winter storm watch is issued 48 hours in advance of potential hazardous winter weather. You should evaluate your non-perishable food supply. You will know when a winter storm watch has been issued in the south because the stores will be out of milk and bread. Can’t say that we understand the need for milk and bread in a winter storm but hey, you do you! You want to make sure you have plenty of water bottles on hand. Don’t forget your furry friends. They need water and food as well so include them in your head count when stocking your pantry. You may think that a power outage would not affect your water supply but frozen pipes could make staying hydrated difficult.
Check flashlights, lanterns, weather radios portable heaters etc. for battery sizes. Make sure you have ample batteries for each device. You need to clean your back up heating devices and have them inspected before using. It is a good idea to make sure your vehicles have fuel and your phone and computer are charged before the weather hits.
Time to Hunker Down:
A winter weather advisory means that conditions are likely to cause hazardous conditions. You will be glad you stocked up on food because conditions won’t be ideal for venturing out. If you know that the advisory is going to eventually be upgraded to a warning then you should turn your thermostat as high as possible. The warmer your house is now, the longer it will take to lose heat if the power goes out. Begin securing the window sills, door frames and other areas where heat leaks out.
Layering clothes and using blankets keeps you warm in the short run. If the power goes out for an extended period of time then you will find yourself looking for additional methods of heating. There are many different types of heating devices. We strongly urge you to make sure the device you use is rated for indoor use and is vent-less. If it is not vent-less then don’t bring it indoors. Use it properly for its intended purpose. Make sure it has been properly cleaned and maintained and is approved by the Underwriting Laboratories.
It is also a good idea to turn all faucets to a slow drip to prevent freezing pipes. Additionally, food will last longer if you can refrain from opening the refrigerator and freezer doors. Food can be moved to the garage or even outside to keep frozen if power is out.
There are many more stringent tips for preparing for winter storms. The tips we provided are just the basics everyone should live by. Thankfully we live in an area that does not experience this type of weather often or for long periods of time. Please comment below with your own suggestions for surviving winter storms in the south. We’d love to hear from you!