Will you be affected by the big storm coming, either in your travels or at home? What are your best tips on how to prepare for a big storm? I’ve been seeing a ton of great tips online and thought I’d round some up, but also just start a discussion on what you’re doing…
How to Prepare for a Big Storm If You’re Worried About Losing Power
- Charge all your devices and your travel charger(s).
- Before the storm, unplug or shut down devices that aren’t essential.
- Think about what you’ll eat if you can’t use your microwave and so forth.
- Plan how you can avoid opening your freezer or refrigerator during a potential power outage — for example, you may want to put enough in a smaller cooler for the day.
- Consider filling a bathtub with water so you’ll have enough to flush the toilets — this article from Family Handyman looks like it has good advice on different toilet systems and when this might affect you.
- If you’re expecting or if you receive a big snowfall, make sure your outdoor vents are clear to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning — also, confirm your carbon monoxide detectors are working. (If you’re traveling, we recently recommended this travel carbon monoxide detector, which has battery backup.) Here’s an article from Mass.gov with more info.
- Also, NYS’s emergency management site has a ton of great safety tips for power outages!
How to Prepare for a Big Storm If You’re Driving
Hopefully this is obvious advice — here are some more great tips from AAA. My tips:
- Pay attention to local conditions to determine whether you’re going to drive.
- Leave lots (and lots) of extra room between you and the car in front of you.
- AAA advises to keep at least half a tank of gas at all times.
- Dress warmly — if you tend to run errands without a coat (or you’ve got an older kid who refuses the concept of coats), rethink that. In case there’s an accident, you’re going to want to be in warm clothes. (But: if you’ve got littles still in car seats, make sure their seatbelt still fits properly if they’re wearing a coat or snowsuit — here’s an article from Healthychildren.org that has good advice on snowsuits and car seats.)
- Keep emergency cold-weather supplies in your car: a warm blanket, flashlight, snow shovel, and so on. Here are tips from AAA.
How to Prepare for a Big Storm if You’re Flying
- Prepare yourself (and your travel partners) emotionally for the fact that your flight may be cancelled.
- Keep your coat and shoes on the plane with you — even if you’re flying somewhere warm, your flight could have an emergency landing somewhere else, and you’ll need them.
- If you’re flexible, see if you can rebook your trip.
- Download the airline’s app on your phone for easy rebooking.
- If your credit card has a concierge service, they might be able to help if you’re having trouble through regular means — here’s an article from Experian explaining more.
How to Prepare for a Big Storm If Your Area Isn’t Used to the Cold
I remember this from the years I lived in D.C. — if you live (or are visiting) a climate that is generally warmer, the infrastructure may not be ready for a big storm or its fallout. I randomly saw this 14-Tweet thread from a Houston weatherman, Travis Herzog, with a lot of great tips, including:
- Prepare to shelter your outdoor pets from the cold. (Note: If you want to put out a shelter for local stray/feral cats, here are tips from a feral cat rescue group. Don’t follow your first instinct and use towels or blankets, because when they get wet, they’ll be cold.)
- Protect your pipes — consider turning off the water to your home and draining the pipes before the freeze begins.
- Fill your tub with water to flush the toilets.
Those are the big tips I’m seeing — what are you worried about with the big storm? (Are you worried about extreme weather in general, going forward?) What are your best tips for how to prepare for a big storm?
Stock photo via Stencil.