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Preparing Your Home for a Winter Blizzard

By Thomas Mitchell

If you live on the east coast or in the Midwestern United States, dealing with a blizzard is a common and expected part of life. Here, we offer tips on how to survive these blinding storms with proper preparation for your family and your home

If you have time before a blizzard hits, there's a few things you will want to do to make sure the outside of your home is ready. Weather-stripping your doors and windows will keep any cold air or snow from getting in. Make sure any gaps where air can get through are caulked, and your pipes are insulated properly. Clear your rain gutters of debris, and trim any tree branches that might hit your house in event of heavy snow or hard winds. If your power goes out during the blizzard you might want to cover your windows with plastic to fully prevent heat from escaping, and seal off any rooms that aren't being used. Be wary of using any type of generator, camp stove, grill, and gas powered heater or oil powered heater indoors , because you could end up giving your family carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working as well. Having some rock salt on hand to melt ice around your property will also be useful.

For the indoors situation, you will want to start off by having a full list of emergency contacts you may need to communicate with, and don't forget to make sure your cell phone is charged. Keep non-perishable items in stock in case the storm lasts more than one day. Some good items to have around include juice boxes, fruit cups, crackers, granola bars, cereal, canned chili and tuna, and instant soups. In addition to food you will also want to make sure you have at least a three day supply of water, flashlights, first aid supplies, pet supplies, candle, batteries, and any medications that you family members take. Another great idea is to have a battery powered weather radio on hand so you can receive updates on the weather situation in your area. Having a lot of warm blankets and clothes around will also be beneficial to you and your family if you have to hunker down during a blizzard.

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