Are you prepared for a winter ice storm?
I know I am.
With an impending ice storm this past weekend I double checked my families ice storm supplies Friday afternoon.
The weather people were predicting 1 to 2 inches of ice in my area. Yikes!
Luckily it didn’t happen.
But you see, mother nature can be a real bitch some times.
And winter ice storms are one her biggest causes of death and destruction.
So it’s better to be prepared than caught off guard.
Ice Storm Facts:
Since 2003 over 147 million homes and business have lost power for an hour or more from weather related outages.
You read that right. 147 MILLION!
In a typical year over 15 million are affected by weather related outages.
With outages ranging from less than an hour to over 16 days.
Personally I’ve fallen victim to mother natures wraith several times.
Once we lost power for 7 days from an ice storm and a couple times we’ve lost power for several days due to tornados.
Yes, Kansas is the best place in the world to live.
15 Steps to prepare for an ice storm.
- Create a disaster plan for your family and practice it often. Having a plan only works if you have practiced it. Have several rendezvous locations in your home and outside of your home.
- Have emergency phone numbers where the are easily accessible. Make sure each person in your family keeps a copy with them at all times.
- Have a first aid kit and keep it stocked at all times. You can buy a pre-made kit or create your own. Our family started with one we purchased from a big box store and added-removed items to fit our specific needs. Don’t forget to include over the counter medications like ibuprofen, pepto-bismol, tums, etc.
- Keep at least a 48 hour supply of drinking water on hand for each member of your family. Flats of water are cheap and last a long time.
- Keep at least a 48 hour supply of canned and freeze dried foods on hand for each member of your family. Keep a non-electric can opener on hand for when power is not available.
- Keep at least a 7-day supply of essential prescription medications on hand at all times for each member of your family. You can go days without food or water but if you have a serious disease might not last hours without your medication.
- Keep your car filled with gasoline. If your town is out of power the gas pumps at the local 7-Eleven will not be working.
- Keep some cash on hand. If your town is out of power you will not be able to use your debit card.
- Keep flashlights and battery powered radios in good working condition. Have spare batteries, candles and matches on hand.
- Keep extra blankets and warm clothes on hand where they are easily accessible. Layering clothing to trap as much body heat as possible.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. In the event you lose power, frozen food will generally keep for 48 hours. Perishable food is only good for about 2 hours if it’s been above 40 degrees. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Have an emergency-heat source in your home such as wood stove or fireplace. Keep spare fuel away from open flames at all times. Proper ventilation is essential and never leave a fire unattended.
- If you have been without heat for several days drain your water pipes. Some experts suggest leaving your sinks running if your home losses power.
- If you have an electric generator be sure and read the owners manual. Follow all safety instructions outlined in your owners manual. Most current codes require an automatic breaker if you connect your generator directly to your homes power lines. Back feeding your home and not separating it from the power grid could energize the power grid. This could lead to serious injury or death of a lineman working down stream from your home. Never operate a gas powered generator indoors. Exhaust fumes from a gas powered engine are deadly.
- Teach everyone in your home how to turn off the gas, water and electricity.
You can keep your disaster supplies on hand year round so you are prepared for all of mother natures little events. Be sure and replace food, water and medications as needed.