How to get prepared for Snowmageddon!
Are you ready for the storm of the century?
Besides the bread, milk, toilet paper, batteries and other necessities, winter storms can be challenging and overwhelming if you are not ready. Please think about the fllowing tips to keep you, your family and home safe this winter whatever the storm may bring.
1. Plan Ahead.
Keep up to date on weather frorecasts and plan. I like the app "Dark Sky" for your smart phone for instant hour to hour weather forecast (small fee). Stock up ahead of time and don't wait until the store shelves have been emptied. Pick up prescription medication in advance, arrange for snowplowing service, power up laptops and cell phones.
Also, sign up for "Alert Montgomery" for timely alerts as to road closures, conditions and weather warnings sent to your cell phone.
2. Emergency Supplies.
Keep them accessible - include flashlights, batteries, candles, matches, first aid kit, battery operated radio, blankets, corded phone and bottled water. Non perishable foods such as dried fruit, nuts, canned goods and include a non-electric can opener can be crucial. Without power consider storing your frozen foods outside.
3.Take Care of your Roof.
Ice damming happens when the melting and refreezing of snow forms a ridge at the roof eaves which prevents drainage. When additional melting occurs, water pools behind the dam which can then lead to water damage to the roof, ceiling and walls inside your home. Ice can also clog gutters. Consider using a "roof" rake to clear away heavy, built-up snow. These rakes are specificaly designed for roofs.
4. Snow Blower Safety.
Inspect the snow blower before use - check the oil level and tire inflation. Make sure on electric blowers the cord is not damaged. In gas models, fill the tank prior to use (do not add fuel to a hot engine). Move the unit outside before starting and note the discharge chute's direction to avoid injury and damage shooting objects such as rocks and ice. NEVER stick your hand into the chute of a clogged snow blower. Many people do not know that even when the engine is shut off, enough torque can actually rotate the blade once you remove the blockage.
5. Safely Shovel Snow.
Do light exercises and stretch before shoeveling. Keep your back straight, bend your knees, and squat down with your legs apart to lift a shovel full of snow. Do not throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side. Carry it to your pile with arms close to your body. Your shovel should be proportionate to your body size and strength level.
6. Icy Patches.
Use sand or kitty litter (non-clumping) to provide traction. If you must use a deicer it is recommended that you avoid sodium chloride (rock salt) which is very corrosive. Calcium chloride or magnesium chloride is recommended (but not on concrete that is less than one year old).
Stay warm and safe!