The leaves are almost off the trees and there is a chill in the air. Winter is fast approaching. The west side had one windstorm already this year, reinforcing what we know from last years storms -- preparedness pays off.
We are taking steps to make sure that our crews are ready to clear the roads, and that we can keep you informed at a moments notice in the event of a storm. But that's only half the battle. Taking simple steps to prepare could save you much hassle and headache, and give you peace of mind during that next storm.
Here is some of my favorite advice, gleaned from recent preparedness materials that I read.
- Don't get out of your car if you are near a recent avalanche. Your chances of being found are much better if you are inside of your car.
- Don't use a gas oven for heat, or light up the barbecue inside your home. Surprisingly, this was one of the hardest learned lessons from last year's windstorms. It was astounding how many people tried heating their homes or cooking inside, and ended up with carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Fill your car’s gas tank, especially if you know snow is in the forecast.
- Pack an emergency kit in the trunk of your car, and one for your home.
- Create a family plan, and one for your kids (pdf). The kids will appreciate the contact-in-case-of-emergency cards. My kids carry them in their school backpacks, and they feel safer knowing they are able to contact me whenever they need to.
- Talk to your employer in advance so you know what’s expected of you in a snow storm. Can you stay home with your kids?
- Get a radio that allows you to stay informed. At the very least, the radio will give you and your family something to listen to while you play cards when the power goes out.
I hope you find these as helpful as I did. Take the time to prepare, it's worth it.