What You Need to Know Before a Winter Storm
Winter storms can cause a lot of damage! Not only is your home or business at risk, but also your health, the roads and your vehicle. Unlike storms occurring during the warmer seasons, winter storms can bring freezing rain, snow, ice, and intense, cold winds.
It’s important to make sure your home or office is properly insulated. Caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows will keep cold air from seeping into your property. Also consider installing a storm door. That will provide an extra layer of insulation and protection.
Also remember your pipes! To keep them from freezing, insulate them by wrapping them in old newspaper, for example. Then, cover the newspaper with plastic to keep any moisture out.
One of the most important things to keep in mind, especially during the coldest time of the year, is carbon monoxide. During a snowstorm in particular, it’s safe to assume your windows and doors are tightly shut. It’s great that snow and frigid air can’t make their way into your home, yet carbon monoxide can begin poisoning your air by quickly filling up the confined air. Carbon monoxide can be released from the gas of generators, stoves and other equipment. Furthermore, having your car run to warm up for example, or sitting in it for heat purposes, will result in the release of carbon monoxide. If the vehicle is in an enclosed or poorly ventilated area, the buildup can be deadly. It’s odorless, silent and quick to poison.
Of course snowstorms also have a direct impact on the structure of your home. Heavy snow can cause your roof to weaken, possibly resulting in its collapse. Snowstorms can also cause windows to break.
Be careful of falling trees. Before cold temperatures set in, check your property for any dying trees or breaking branches. It’s a good idea to call a professional company if anything seems questionable. You will want to get any trees or branches removed that might put your property at risk. Once the snow begins falling, its weight can easily snap a branch or even an entire tree that can land on your home or office, which in turn would create an opening for snow, rain, or ice to fall directly in your home.
Snowstorms can also affect your & others' health, including neighbors, homeless members of your community, and animals including pets. Health risks include hypothermia, heart attacks from overexertion, and frostbite. A common result of a winter storm is losing heat and communication services. Especially for the elderly and young children, losing heat can be life-threatening.
Additionally, if communication services are temporarily out and an emergency occurs, there is basically no way of getting help. As winter is quickly approaching, we encourage you to purchase a mobile phone from a reliable and trusted carrier if you currently only have a landline. We also encourage you to check on anyone you might see as at-risk.
If you know a winter storm is approaching, make sure to warn members of your community, such as an elderly neighbor, who may have not heard, or notify a local homeless shelter if you see someone you think would benefit from their services.
Lastly, make sure you are dressed warmly, covering yourself in winter gear from head to toe. Warm gloves and socks are essential as frostbite is most common on fingers and toes. You should stay indoors as much as possible and be sure to stay off the road. The road is an extremely dangerous place to be during a snowstorm. These weather conditions can make it nearly impossible to drive, and the last place you want to be is sitting on the side of a road as the snow on the ground grows higher.
Keep yourself safe and let’s keep everyone else safe and warm this winter!
In the unfortunate event you have pipe burst or other storm damage around your property, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney is here 24/7 to help. 301-340-1313.