Thursday, February 7, 2013

New England Blizzard-Feb 2013-Prep Tips

Forecasters are suggesting that this weekend's blizzard in New England could be a top-ten-of-all-time storm.  Up to two feet are forecast for Boston.

Before the blizzard:
  • Check your 72-hr kit:  Update the food, check the batteries, make sure they include warm clothes.
  • Wouldn't hurt to have a little extra food in the house, including some that you don't need to cook. Stock up on paper plates, cups and plastic silverware, in case the power goes out.
  • Clear your schedule, stay home: The main hazards will be encountered on the road.  If you don't have to go out, don't.  Declare a snow day and play in the yard or cozy up in the house.  But try to stay off the roads.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially those with special needs.

During the blizzard:
  • Practice good fire safety.  Make sure your fire extinguisher is in good repair and your smoke and CO alarms are functional. Keep combustibles away from heaters and stoves.
  • If you must drive, make sure your gas tank is full and put some emergency supplies in the car: blankets, extra clothes in case you get wet, gloves, hats, water and some non-perishable food. Maybe add a shovel and a tow strap. Even for short trips, make sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to be there. Give yourself plenty of time to get there so you can afford to drive patiently.
After the blizzard:
  • If the power goes out, fire safety is paramount.  Open flames like candles and emergency heaters MUST be attended by an alert adult.  Follow all safety instructions to assure your device works and is not giving off harmful gases. 
  • Check on your neighbors again.
  • Go easy on shoveling snow.  Heart attacks kill, too.
  • Bundle up appropriately: a wicking poly layer next to your skin, add layers for warmth. Synthetic fibers and wool insulate when wet; cotton does not. Finish with a windproof/ waterproof outer layer. Hats and scarves save lots of heat, and cheap mittens are warmer than expensive gloves.
  • Drink heavily, but make it water.  You respirate lots of moisture in the cold, dry air.
  • Stay dry. If you are shoveling or walking hard, shuck layers as you warm up so you won't sweat.  If you get wet, change immediately into dry clothes, and/or get out of the cold 

You can't avoid a blizzard when it comes, so take pictures, make it an adventure and enjoy it. when the sun comes out, and it will, it will be spectacular!

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