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How to Prepare for Major Winter Storms

How to Prepare for Major Winter Storms

(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — During winter storms or periods of extreme cold weather, staying warm and safe can be a challenge. Winter storms in the Midwest can bring frigid temperatures and heavy snow, power failures, loss of communication services, and icy roads. The primary concerns at home during a winter storm are loss of heat, power, and telephone service – and a shortage of supplies if storm conditions continue for more than a day. To keep yourself and loved ones safe, be prepared before a winter storm hits by planning ahead.

Steps to Take BEFORE a Winter Storm Hits

  • ✓ Listen to weather forecasts regularly and check supplies whenever you are expecting a winter storm or extreme cold.
  • ✓ Make sure you have at least a 3-day supply of nonperishable food that requires no cooking or refrigeration.
  • ✓ Ensure you have all prescriptions filled and enough medicines on hand for at least three days – even a week just in case. This will save you from having to run to the pharmacy when the roads are bad.
  • ✓ Have an Emergency Kit available that includes batteries, candles, bottled water, matches, a battery-operated radio, and other necessary items.
  • ✓ Don’t forget to stock up on baby items like formula and diapers, as well as toilet paper, hygiene products, etc. for other household members.
  • ✓ Charge Up. Make sure your phone and other devices are fully charged.
  • ✓ Check on loved ones and neighbors to make sure they are staying warm, especially older adults and young children.
  • ✓ Bring pets indoors. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm, and make sure they have access to unfrozen water and enough pet food.
  • ✓ Be careful not to overexert yourself. Many heart attacks are brought on by overexertion from shoveling or clearing snow during and after storms.

Weatherproofing Your Home

  • ✓ Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze.
  • ✓ Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows. Insulate walls and attics.
  • ✓ Install storm or thermal-pane windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
  • ✓ Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.
  • ✓ Mark sure smoke detectors and battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Test them monthly and replace batteries twice a year.

Create an Emergency Car Kit
It is best to avoid traveling, but if travel is necessary, keep the following in your car:

  • ✓ Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries.
  • ✓ Items to stay warm such as extra hats, coats, mittens, and blankets.
  • ✓ Windshield scraper, shovel, flashlight, etc.
  • ✓ Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
  • ✓ Keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  • ✓ Booster cables with fully charged battery or jumper cables.

For more information on related topics, go to www.BPU.com. BPU also provides helpful information on a variety of issues through videos on its YouTube channel.

About BPU

BPU’s water department was originally created in 1909, and its electric utility was operational in 1912. The purpose of the utility, then and to this day, is to provide the highest quality electric and water services at the lowest possible cost. Today the publicly owned utility serves approximately 65,000 electric and 53,000 water customers, primarily in Wyandotte County, Kansas. The mission of the utility and its employees is “to focus on the needs of our customers, to improve the quality of life in our community while promoting safe, reliable and sustainable utilities.” BPU’s Web site is www.bpu.com.



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