Making preparations before the ice storm predicted in your area can be a matter of survival. Ice wreaks havoc on roads, trees, and power lines alike and in subzero temperatures, can leave your home without heat and running water, leading to a host of other issues. Taking a few steps to prepare for the inevitable ice storm can help you avoid an interruption to everyday life, and possibly even be life-saving.
Falling tree branches can be a huge threat to your home when ice accumulates. Ice can bring down large limbs and even uproot entire trees from the added weight. Before the approaching storms, take note of tree limbs overhanging power lines or draping over your dwelling. If you cannot safely remove them yourself, hire a tree trimming company to trim back overhanging limbs to avoid them damaging your home or bringing down power lines on your property.
When the storm is approaching, turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings. This will preserve your food longer in the event you lose power. If you do lose power, open your fridge and freezer only when absolutely necessary to maintain their temperature longer. Eat your perishable foods first, preserving canned foods and other non-perishable items for the possibility of long-term outage.
Frozen pipes can be a very expensive and exasperating ordeal. In the event of power loss, keep faucets at a slow drip to prevent them from freezing. Frozen pipes can be a very expensive and exasperating ordeal. If you own a generator, be sure to only run the generator out-of-doors to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is not safe to run the generator even in the garage, especially if your garage is attached to your home.
It may be necessary to have alternate heating sources during a power outage. If your home has a fireplace, have a stockpile of firewood ready. Most properly installed fireplaces can output a surprising amount of heat. If your fireplace has not been used recently, have a certified chimney inspector ensure that your flu and chimney are in proper shape for fires. Kerosene heaters are also an option for power outages. Always remember to crack a window for ventilation when operating a kerosene heater since combustion heating uses oxygen. Also remember to fuel your kerosene heater out-of-doors to prevent spilling fuel on interior surfaces and avoiding potential fire.
Ultimately, you may be required to leave your home for warmer shelter. When ice storms are approaching, be sure to keep your fuel tank full in case you need to evacuate locally. If you have a garage, avoid damage from falling branches by parking your car inside. Be sure to back your car in so you can pull out easily after the storm.
Having a cell phone charger for your car will keep your phone charge even in a power loss. Cell phone towers may also be unavailable in a wide-scale storm event. Consider purchasing a satellite phone for your emergency preparations. Satellite phones function independent of local conditions and could provide a life-saving function if multiple things go wrong. Outfitter Satellite has a wide variety of new and used satellite phones with affordable service options, some specifically designed for emergency use only.
Keeping these simple steps in mind before the ice storm approaches in your area will, at least, save from inconvenience but could even be life-saving when power goes down in sub-freezing conditions.