How to Prepare - Residential
How to Prepare for a Winter Storm
Protecting your family
- Talk with your family about what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Discussing winter storms ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for young children.
- Have your vehicle winterized before the winter storm season to decrease your chance of being stranded in cold weather.
- Have a mechanic check your battery, antifreeze, wipers and windshield washer fluid, ignition system, thermostat, lights, flashing hazard lights, exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster, and oil.
- Install good winter tires with adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate but some jurisdictions require vehicles to be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
- Keep in your vehicle: - A windshield scraper and small broom - A small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels and a set of tire chains or traction mats - Matches in a waterproof container - A brightly colored (preferably red) cloth to tie to the antenna - An emergency supply kit, including warm clothing.
- Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full so you can leave right away in an emergency and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Keep a supply of non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery.
- Service snow removal equipment before the winter storm season and maintain it in good working order.
- Keep handy a warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat, water-resistant boots, and extra blankets and warm clothing for each member of the household.
Winter Storm Preparedness
Each year, hundreds of Americans are injured or killed by exposure to cold, vehicle accidents on wintry roads, and fires caused by the improper use of heaters. Learn what to do to keep your loved ones safe during blizzards and other winter storms!
Know the difference and prepare:
Winter Storm WARNING: Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours.
Blizzard WARNING: Sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 miles per hour or greater, plus considerable falling or blowing snow reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile, expected to prevail for three hours or longer.
If you must leave during a flood....
10/11/2019 - Future Scheduled Date
If you must leave:
- Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move important items to an upper floor.
- Turn off water, gas and power at the main switches or valves if told to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, leave the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
- Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers or creeks, particularly during threatening weather.
During a Flood
During a Flood
If a flood is likely in your area:
- Listen to the radio or television to learn what to do.
- Know that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move quickly to higher ground. Do not wait to be told to move.
- Know that streams, drainage channels, canyons and other areas can flood quickly. Flash floods can happen in these areas with or without typical warnings.
Know the Terms: Flooding
Know the terms:
- Flood watch – rainfall is heavy enough to cause rivers to overflow their banks. Flooding is possible.
- Flood warning – flooding is occurring or very likely to happen in an affected river, lake or tidewater area. If told to leave, do so immediately.
- Flash flood watch – flash flooding in specified areas is possible. Be alert! You may need to take quick action.
- Flash flood warning – flash flooding is occurring or is likely to happen along certain streams and select areas. Get to a safe place immediately!
Prepare For a Flood
To prepare for a flood:
- Build an emergency kit.
- Make a family communications plan.
- Do not build in a floodplain unless you raise it up and support your home.
- Raise up the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in a high flood risk area.
- Think about putting in "check valves" to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
- If you can, build barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building. Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
Before a Flood
10/7/2019 - Future Scheduled Date
You should know that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Floods can even be in areas with a low risk of flooding. Just because you haven't had a flood in the past doesn't mean you won't in the future. Flood risk is based on a lot of factors including rainfall, landscape, flood-control measures, river-flow and tidal-surge data, flood history and changes due to new construction and development.
Flood-hazard maps have been made to show the flood risk for your area. This helps figure out the type of flood insurance coverage you need. Regular homeowners and renters insurance don’t cover flooding. The lower the degree of risk of flooding, the lower the flood insurance premium.
Pet Fire Safety
Each year, more than 500,000 pets are affected by house fires, with 1,000 house fires started by pets themselves. In order to prevent and prepare for a possible house fire, it is important to remember your pets when thinking about your fire preparedness plan.
PREVENTING A FIRE
- Reduce open flame exposure – Pets are curious and may try to investigate your unattended candles or fireplace. Opt instead for flameless candles or an enclosed fireplace to prevent an accidental knock or escaped ember from burning out of control.
- Put covers on or remove stove knobs and discourage climbing in the kitchen – An accidental nudge of a stove knob is the number one cause of house fires started by pets. By preventing your pet from interacting with a stove, you can take a big step toward preventing fires.
- Secure loose wires – Pets may like to chew on wires and cords, but ensure that these items are out of reach from your pet, as they can lead to fires.
- Never put a glass bowl on a wooden porch – The sun’s rays can heat the bowl and cause a fire on your wooden deck. Opt instead for ceramic or stainless-steel dishes when outside.
PREPARING FOR A FIRE
- Include your pet into your family emergency plan and practice taking them with you. Talk with your family members to determine who is responsible for grabbing your pets and who should grab their supplies (food, medication, photo, leashes and carriers, medical records) during an emergency so you can reduce scrambling and redundancy when speed and efficiency are needed.
- Put a decal in your home’s front window indicating the number and type of pets you have – Providing this information can cut down on the time responders spend searching your home in the case of a fire.
- Make sure your pet’s updated contact information is reflected on their ID collar and in the microchip database – If your pet gets lost during a fire, this will help rescuers get him or her back to you.
- Use monitored smoke detectors that are connected to emergency responders – Should a fire start while you are away from your home, you’ll rest assured that your pet has access to emergency response services even if no one is home to call them.
- Know your pets’ hideaways and create ways for easy access to them in case of an emergency – It’s nice that your pet can get away if he or she wants to, but in an emergency, you need to be able to locate and extract your pet as quickly as possible.
DURING A FIRE
- Attempt to grab your pet and exit the home as quickly as possible, but if it takes too long to locate or secure them, leave – You should never delay escape or endanger yourself or your family. Once responders get there, immediately inform them your pet is still inside, so they can go enter your home and continue looking for your pet.
- Grab leashes and carriers on your way out – Outside will be chaotic and that may cause your pet to try to escape to a calm, safe area.
- Never go back inside a burning house. If you can’t find your pet, leave, open the door, and call to them repeatedly from a safe distance away. Let firefighters take over the task of locating your pet.
Fire Safety: Be a Hero
Be a hero
How do you define a hero? Is it…a person who is courageous and performs good deeds? Someone who comes to the aid of others, even at personal risk?
A hero can be all of those things. A hero can also be…someone who takes small, but important actions to keep themselves and those around them safe from fire. When it comes to fire safety, maybe you’re already a hero in your household or community. If not, maybe you’re feeling inspired to become one. It's easy to take that first step - make your home escape plan!
2019 Fire Safety Campaign
This year’s FPW campaign, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
Did you know?
In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have,giving everyone enough time to get out.