If you live anywhere on the eastern seaboard of the United States, you’ve spent the past few days being bombarded with all manner of alerts about the severity of Winter Storm Jonas.
No, not THAT Jonas…
And while we’re often leery of over-the-top weather forecasts and obnoxious words like “snowmageddon,” we still prefer to be prepared for any and all weather-related situations. We also believe in providing our readers and customers with crucial information to help them get ready in case the bad weather creates an unfortunate emergency.
So, in case you are directly impacted by the “crippling snow, heavy icing, and blizzard warnings from Washington, D.C. to New York City” predicted by The Weather Channel, please keep yourself, your family, and your home warm and protected with these winter safety tips.
Whether you choose the radio, television, or website, stay connected to alerts from the NOAA and the National Weather Service for all hazardous conditions. Download free smartphone apps from FEMA, the American Red Cross, and The Weather Channel. They provide information about weather alerts, finding shelters, and how to receive first aid if you need it.
- Clean any and all gutters before the snow falls to prevent an accumulation of ice on the roof.
- Inside the house, insulate your water pipes exposed to freezing temperatures. Pipes on the exterior walls of your home have the greatest chance of freezing, so take care of these first by wrapping them in towels or other cloth padding.
- Also, the old trick of opening your water lines slightly to allow a slow drip still works. No one wants to face the repair costs caused by ruptured pipe, which can range from $5,000 to $70,000, according to State Farm Insurance.
- Shovel any and all possible snow from your sidewalks, driveways, and other areas where you walk and/or drive before more snow arrives.
- The same applies to ice and salting. Do this BEFORE the storm arrives to prevent the accumulation of more ice.
3) Stay Home
C’mon – you’ve read the predictions for Winter Storm Jonas, right?
“The National Weather Service has now issued blizzard warnings from northern Virginia to Long Island, including Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. Heavy snow and strong winds will bring travel to a grinding halt, between late Friday and Sunday morning.”
You don’t need to go anywhere. Just make sure your home has enough food, water, and supplies to sustain you throughout the next few days. This will keep you out of the elements and will keep you safe in case the storm knocks out power for any length of time.
And be sure to park your car in your driveway (at minimum) or in your garage (if you have one). Basically – don’t park your car in the street, because it could get easily trapped or damaged when snow plows come to clear off the streets.
4) Stay Charged and Connected
This is 2016. We all live on our smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Which means you need to ensure your electronics stay charged as much as possible, because you can never tell when a power outage might occur.
Seriously – it’s winter. Wear clothes that keep you warm, even at home. Not only will this help you stay comfy, it will also prevent you from cranking up your heater to levels that could stress the energy grid and drive up your energy bills.
Yes, your furry friends have built-in warm coats, but they need special attention in adverse weather. I mean – they don’t regularly live in Arctic conditions.
Monitor the time they spend outside on potty breaks so they don’t get too wet or cold. And when they do come inside, be sure to clean and dry their feet well. We also recommend giving them a bit more food during extra cold weather because your pets are using more calories to keep warm.
7) Watch for Power Outages
If you do experience a power outage caused by Winter Storm Jonas, you will need to contact your local utility company to report this outage and to request a timeline for when power will be restored. Please visit our Power Outages page to view the contact information for the utility company in your area.
However you intend to prepare your home and family for the arrival of Winter Storm Jonas this weekend, we hope these safety tips help you stay secure, snug, and warm.