7 Things to Have on Hand if You're Snowed In - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Nov 30, 2018

7 Things to Have on Hand if You're Snowed In

Winter weather can be brutal – especially in the state of New York.  It makes traveling very difficult and unsafe, and sometimes even impossible.  In those times when the winter weather hits hard and leaves you stranded at home, it is important to have these items on hand:
  •  Flashlight & batteries A flashlight is always important to have on hand, but especially during a bad snowstorm when there is a possibility of losing power.  Obviously, a flashlight is useless if the batteries are dead, so it’s important to keep a fresh set on hand.  Remember, flashlights present less of a risk than candles so it is a good investment if you don’t already have one on hand.
  • Extra blankets If power is lost, winter weather can bring frigid temperatures.  It is important to keep some extra blankets handy in case your house gets a little chilly.  A gas-powered space heater or backup generator are also good recommendations in case the power goes out.
  • A full week of medications A good piece of advice at any time is to make sure your prescriptions are refilled before your current script runs out.  During a snowstorm, this becomes even more important in case you are unable to make it to the pharmacy to refill a prescription.
  •  A 3 to 7-day supply of non-perishable food If you aren’t able to travel to a store to get food, it is important to have food on hand.  Non-perishable is key because if you lose power, you won’t need heat or refrigeration to keep these foods edible.  Many non-perishable foods are cans, so make sure you have a non-electric can opener handy!  NEVER attempt to cook food indoors using charcoal grills or portable gas camp stoves.  They are only meant to be used OUTSIDE and the fumes are deadly.
  •  Pet food and supplies Your pets need to eat just like you!  Make sure you don’t run out of food for them during a snow emergency.
  • Cell phone AND portable charger OR battery-powered radio Having a means of communication is always important.  In today’s day and age, most people have cell phones.  However, if the power goes out and your phone dies – then what good is it?  Therefore, it is always a good idea to have a portable charger on hand in case of emergency.
  • A relatively large water supply Not only for drinking – but in case your pipes freeze or break due to the extreme cold.  Have a supply of water bottles or jugs of water and even fill your bathtub if necessary.  If you have no other means of retrieving water, you can melt snow by bringing it to a rolling boil for one minute to kill most germs/chemicals that can be found in snow.
Tips to avoid frozen pipes:
  • Leave water taps open slightly to keep a continuous drip of water.
  • Open cabinet doors under the kitchen sink to allow more heat to reach the pipes.
  • DO NOT try and thaw pipes with a torch. If frozen, you can try and slowly unthaw them with a hair dryer (if you have electricity). 

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