When it starts getting cooler outside, it is a good idea to begin preparing for winter weather and severe storms. The worst thing you can do is wait until cold weather hits to think about it. Make an emergency plan in case the power goes out. Gather supplies and winterize your home and vehicle(s). Some tips and suggestions include:
*Winterizing your home is more than closing the windows and turning on the heat. It is wise to put plastic over your windows from the inside and outside. Plastic will help keep cold air from leaking in and the heat from escaping. Wrap pipes under the kitchen and bathroom sinks with heat tape or insulation sleeves. Make sure to read all instructions before attempting use and use only appropriate materials for the type of pipes you have like PVC or copper. Another thing you can do is put weather stripping up around your door frames. This stripping helps keep out cold air and blowing snow from under the door. Be sure to leave your water running at least a little to help prevent pipes from freezing.
*Supplies. Be sure you are well stocked up on canned foods and non-perishable items. Have plenty of bottled water (one gallon per person per day). Have a flashlight and fresh batteries for each person in the home, cell phone and chargers, complete first aid kit (one family size minimum) and extra blankets. One thing you should have is a battery operated radio; in case the power goes out, you can still listen to weather reports and emergency information. Battery operated heaters can also come in handy if the power goes out temporarily. Be sure every member of the household has plenty of warm clothing, socks, gloves, hats, coats and waterproof boots.
*Communicate with family members (outside of the home) and friends/neighbors. Especially during severe weather, it is a good idea to do safety checks on people around you. This way, if someone becomes distressed, you may be able to help them or get help to them quicker. Communicating with people can also help alleviate panic during severe winter storms.
*Winterize your vehicle(s). First tip: Do not have pure water in your vehicle's radiator. The water can freeze and cause expensive damage. Check your antifreeze at the start of the cooling season to ensure it is still good. They may be more expensive, but having good snow tires could be a life saver in bad weather conditions. Be sure your windshield wipers work properly and that you have quality washer fluid in the reservoir. Have a complete tune up and oil change performed on your vehicle(s) before the weather turns nasty.
The golden rule still stands: "Hope for the best and prepare for the worst". This is very true when it comes to being prepared for severe winter weather and storms.