Winter in New Hampshire can be beautiful and picturesque, but sometimes it presents residents with storm emergencies and it really pays to be prepared.
Simply put, there are periods of time where winter weather means that Granite Staters should plan ahead to be certain their home is winter-ready and the family's basic needs are met, no matter the storm emergency or the length of time it takes for things to get back to normal.
As a winter storm approaches, make certain your cell phone is fully charged. As you are listening to the latest forecast, it is important to understand the storm situation that heading your way so you can best prepare for it.
Know the Difference
Winter Weather Advisory: Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life-threatening.
Winter Storm Watch: Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.
Winter Storm Warning: Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.
Make a winter storm home safety kit
According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), homeowners and drivers should have emergency kits put together to address basic needs during a storm and its aftermath.
Here are some things to put into a home emergency kit:
- A three day supply of non-perishable food, including ready-to-eat canned goods.
- Keep on hand a three day supply of water. You should have one gallon of water for each person, per day.
- Have a manual can opener on hand.
- Prepare for any special dietary needs of your family (e.g. baby food, gluten free items).
- A first aid kit, including non-prescription medication.
- Toilet paper, paper towels.
- Anti-bacterial wipes (great for hand-washing when there is no water).
- Be sure to keep on-hand extra prescription medication, and any other special medical or sanitary needs.
- Flashlights and candles.
- Battery-operated radio.
- Extra batteries and matches.
- A generator set-up and ready to operate; having one professionally installed is best and depending on its size. It can keep your furnace, fridge, and a few lights running throughout a major outage.
Make a winter safety kit for your car
Nothing is worse, or perhaps more dangerous, than getting stranded in your vehicle a snow storm. It is recommended that every driver pack their car with some basic emergency essentials.
- Flashlight with extra batteries.
- Matches in waterproof container.
- Paper and pencil.
- Signal flare.
- Extra cell phone battery.
- Extra clothes, sweaters, hat and gloves.
- A warm blanket.
- Water and high protein snacks that keep, like peanuts, granola bars, raisins.
- Booster cables.
- Battery-powered radio.
- Fire extinguisher (5-lb., A-B-C type).
- First-aid kit and manual.
- Maps, shovel, flares.
- Tire jack.
- Spare tire.
- A snowbrush and ice scraper.
- A bag of sand or cat litter to help with traction.
- Extra windshield fluid.
Finally, it is important to keep your gas tank filled above the halfway mark in bad weather. If you get stuck, you will have plenty of gas to keep you warm for hours.
With a little preparation, you can be ready for anything that winter throws at you, whether in your home or in your car.