Some new homeowners or renters may not be aware of (beyond the media calls for gas, bread and milk) what they should do around the house before and during the storm. While communicating this to my daughter, I figured it may be helpful for others:
* Snow Removal – Don’t let the storm end before starting to tackle more than 3 or 4 inches. If the storm ends with rain (very common occurrence here in New England) the last thing you want to do is try to shovel 1′-2’+ of wet snow. Be sure to remove snow from up against all doors since not doing so can often be the cause for leaks when the snow starts to melt. Special attention needs to be taken to clear the snow from any Heating or Hot Water system vents that are down low on the side of the home. Not getting those vents clear can be a root cause for the heat or hot water system to shut down. A few years ago I lost a good friend to a heat attack while he was shoveling snow, so don’t over do how hard you physically push yourself.
* Put Water In Tub – This is important for those on wells as that water can then be used to flush your toilets if the power goes out (taking the well power out also).
* Don’t Let Your Thermostat Go Into Setback Mode Before or During the Storm – Reason for keeping the heat up is to have the highest inside temperature to start from in the event of a power outage.
* If Power Goes Out – Try to minimize opening your refrigerator or freezer. It’s amazing how quick the food will get warm and freezer items will thaw (being a winter storm, you can always use mother nature’s refrigerator). You’ll need to migrate into an emergency mode state of mind and evaluate how long power might be out. Voice calling uses much more power on your phone instead of texting loved ones. Remember the tips shared in my blog post about Frozen Pipes: http://tinyurl.com/q3p7vax
* Portable Generators – They need to be used outdoors (to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning) and connected to your home with approved disconnect devices to protect the power company personnel from being electrocuted from your generator’s output when they are trying to get your power back on.
* Be A Good Neighbor – Help your neighbors if you can. Do wellness checks on older relatives or those you know who are not physically capable of snow removal. Older folks often won’t ask for help, but they need it.
Hope this info helps! Post to your timeline or pass it on to those who can use the info.