Staying Safe During a Winter Blackout
For many, there’s nothing quite as beautiful as the morning sun reflecting off of the season’s first snowfall. One of the lovely things about living in Tennessee is that we get to enjoy the grandeur of all the seasons without the relentless brutality of a northern winter. Although Nashville’s winters aren’t as tough as some, we still see our share of heavy, wet snow and dangerous ice accumulation. In fact, Climate Central reported that weather-related blackouts have doubled since 2003, and last winter’s storms caused thousands of accidents and power outages. In the wake of last year’s Winter Storm Jonas, much of the south was under ice and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency declared a state of emergency.
Here at NCA, we believe that it’s a smart move to prepare your home and your family for all that winter might bring, so you can enjoy the beauty, knowing that you’re prepared for the beast.
Here are our best tips for staying safe during winter’s darkest months:
Pack an Emergency Kit
It’s a smart move to be ready. Here are a few great items to have on hand in the case of an emergency or a power outage:
- Flashlights, candles, lanterns, matches, and spare batteries
- Water, canned food, can openers, and a multi-tool
- Small camping stove
- Pre-ground coffee and French press
- Battery, solar, or hand-cranked radio
- Extra blankets and warm clothes
- Basic first aid and required medications
- Hand sanitizer and wipes
- Car or hand crank charger for phones and electronic devices
- Books, board games, and playing cards
Winterize Your Home
Take the cold out and keep the cozy in, take the time to winterize your home. November is a great month to make sure that:
- Your heating systems (fireplaces, wood stoves, and furnaces) have been professionally inspected and cleaned.
- Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Make sure your home is properly insulated (and don’t forget your attic!)
- Caulk and weatherstrip your windows and doors as necessary
- Consider installing low-E windows or storm windows to improve efficiency
- Clean your gutters to avoid icicles and dangerous ice dams, which can damage your roof
- Locate and insulate pipes that are the most susceptible to freezing
- Disconnect water hoses and store them for the winter
Winterize Your Car
With increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, winter storms can take commuters by surprise. But keeping a well-stocked car and using a few common-sense strategies can help keep you and your passengers safe year-round.
- Know when to roll and when to stay off the roads by keeping a close eye on local weather reports and power outages
- If travel is unavoidable, remind yourself of best winter driving practices (thoroughly clean your car’s windshields before driving, adjust your speed to current driving conditions, and be sure that you’re mindful of safe stopping distances)
- Stock your trunk with extra blankets, winter clothing, water, and safety flares
- Replace summer treads with winter tires
- Make sure your fluid levels are topped off
- Change your wipers
- Maintain proper tire pressure
Understand Your Home Alarm System
Power outages and prolonged storm systems can raise anxiety levels. Understanding how your alarm system works during an outage can give you peace of mind.
- Make sure the backup batteries in your alarm system are fresh
- Know how long your backup batteries keep a charge
- If you frequently experience outages, consider purchasing a spare battery
- Choose an alarm system that uses backup cellular radio or internet to help guarantee up-to-the-moment monitoring, even in the event your traditional phone line is down.
To keep your home and your family safe during a winter storm emergency, contact NCA Alarms today!