Emergency Tips

Winter Storm Safety Tips from an Emergency Restoration Company

Half of the country is currently under winter weather advisories with many encountering a severe winter storm for their very first time. Whether you are an expert or novice, RMC, an emergency restoration company has compiled Winter Storm Safety Tips for before, during, and after the storm that will be helpful for anyone!

Tip #1: Know What is Coming

The best action in a severe storm comes from being able to prep for it. Know the difference between a Winter Storm Warning, Winter Storm Watch, And Winter Weather Advisories when the National Weather Service issues the notice to your county.

  • Warnings: Take Action! Winter Storm Warnings are issued for a significant winter weather event including snow, ice, sleet or blowing snow or a combination of these hazards.  Travel will become difficult or impossible in some situations. Delay your travel plans until conditions improve.
  • Watches: Be Prepared! Winter Storm Watches are issued when conditions are favorable for a significant winter storm event (heavy sleet, heavy snow, ice storm, heavy snow and blowing snow or a combination of events.)
  • Advisories: Be Aware! Winter Weather Advisories are issued when snow, blowing snow, ice, sleet, or a combination of these wintry elements is expected but conditions should not be hazardous enough to meet warning criteria. Be prepared for winter driving conditions and possible travel difficulties. Use caution when driving.

Tip #2: Prepare

By paying attention to these notices, you will have time to prepare. Preparation that is important before a winter storm includes:

  • Weatherproofing your home
    • Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze.
    • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
    • Insulate walls and attic.
    • Install storm or thermal-pane windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
    • Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.
  • Install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector.
    • Keep a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher nearby.
    • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside.
  • Have an Emergency Food and Water Supply.
    • Prepare for the storm like you will not be able to travel and that the electricity is off. It is not uncommon in a severe snow/ice storm for there to be issues with the powerlines.
    • Keep a supply of water bottles in case pipes freeze.
    • Keep food that requires little to no cooking.
    • Check that you have enough pet food and baby food if applicable.
  • Extra prescription medications and a first-aid kit
  • Review generator safety: Never run a generator in an enclosed space
  • Bring all pets inside or prepare an adequate and warm shelter that will protect them from freezing

Tip #3: Have an Emergency Car Kit

Please avoid travel if at all possible. If you NEED to drive, be sure to have an emergency car kit with these items:

cover of infographic: Is your vehicle winter ready?

  • Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries
  • Items to stay warm such as extra hats, coats, mittens, and blankets in case you get caught in a blizzard or have car issues.
  • Windshield scraper and de-icer spray
  • Shovel
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Water and snack food
  • First aid kit with any necessary medications and a pocket knife
  • Tow chains or rope
  • Tire chains
  • Canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair
  • Cat litter or sand to help tires get traction, or road salt to melt ice
  • Booster cables with fully charged battery or jumper cables
  • Hazard or other reflectors
  • Bright colored flag or help signs, emergency distress flag, and/or emergency flares
  • Road maps
  • Waterproof matches and a can to melt snow for water

Tip #4: During the Storm

Stay Inside!

  • When using heat from a fireplace, wood stove, space heater, etc., use fire safeguards and properly ventilate. If you have a gas furnace, make sure it is not blocked by a snowdrift as soon as it’s safe to go out.
  • If the heat goes out close off unneeded rooms to preserve where important, stuff rags or towels under the cracks of the doors, close blinds and curtains to retain heat.
  • Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.
  • Close off unneeded rooms to avoid wasting heat.
  • Don’t skip meals – food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat. Drinks lots of water and other non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic drinks to prevent dehydration from the dry and cold air.

Tip #5: After the Storm

Stay informed!

  • Stay tuned to your local news for updated information on road conditions.
  • Check with your local water company to ensure water is safe to drink, cook and clean with after a major winter storm.
  • Check with utility companies to find out when electricity or gas services may be restored.
  • Before you drive your car, take time to ensure your exhaust pipe is clear.
  • Brush all the snow off the car so it doesn’t fall on your windshield while you are driving or fly onto other cars, causing an accident.
  • Expect blocked, closed, or icy roads.
  • Drive carefully and watch the video below to learn how to prepare for a black ice emergency.

If you encounter a water or fire-related emergency during these severe conditions, do not hesitate to call Restoration Management Company at 1.800.400.5058. We are on standby for you 24/7/365.

Learn how to help preserve your pipes during the below-freezing temperatures by clicking here!

Since 1985, Restoration Management Company has provided 24-hour restoration service for customers when they experience a catastrophe in their home or workplace. With their headquarters in Hayward, California, RMC has 10 regional locations in Northern and Southern California, as well as locations in Seattle, Washington; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; and the Denver, Colorado metro areas. When emergency services are required RMC delivers high-quality and rapid water damage restoration as well as smoke, fire, environmental and catastrophic restoration services. We stand ready with our highly-trained, experienced, and customer-focused restoration technicians.
Restoration Management Company www.RMC.com


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