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How to Prepare for an Ice Storm

With a potentially severe ice storm on the forecast for our weekend in Southeastern Michigan, it seems like now is the right time to talk about preparing for an ice storm.

Ice storms can be particularly scary because of the potential for power outages during the cold winter months.  Forced air furnaces require electricity in order to operate, so a power outage can be a major concern for families with elderly persons and young children.  Furthermore, driving on ice covered roads is incredibly dangerous, and when possible, we recommend avoiding it.  However, despite the dangers, the more prepared we are, the safer and more comfortable we will be.

How to Prepare for an Ice Storm

Stock up on a Disaster Supply Kit

Your disaster supply kit should include bottled water, non-perishable food items, a manual can opener, flashlights, batteries, candles, matches, and a battery operated radio.  If you already have one packed up in your home, make sure to double check it and replenish anything necessary when an ice storm or winter storm is forecasted.

Salt early

Before the ice storm even begins salt your walks and driveways in order to prevent ice accumulation.  This will not only make your walks less slippery and safer, it will mean less work for you in the long room.

Purchase or Install a Back up Generator

This might not be an option for everyone, but a back up generator can come in very handy in the event of a winter power outage.  If you already have one, review the manual and how it operates.  Remember to operate portable gas powered generators cautiously and never use them inside, not even in the garage.

Another option is to install an automatic backup generator.  These generators are permanent fixtures outside of your home and are connected to the home’s natural gas line.  Seconds after a power outage is sensed, they turn themselves on and there is no need to re-fuel them.

Fill up your Car’s Gas Tank

Make sure your car is all ready to go before a big storm with a full gas tank.  If you need to be driving during the storm, also consider having a shovel, blanket, snacks, bottled water, and flashlights with batteries in the car as well.

Charge Cell phones, Computers, and Back up Chargers

Thanks to modern day weather forecasting, we often know when there is a potential for dangerous weather.  When an ice storm is predicted, charge your cell phones, computers, and any back up chargers.  If you don’t have one already, invest in a cell phone charge for your car.  This way, you can hopefully remain in contact with friends, family, and neighbors.

Remember, if you spot a downed power line to not go near it and immediately contact your local electric company.

If you have trouble with your heat, or if you would like to learn more about automatic back up generators, please do not hesitate to contact us at FLAME Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical.  Stay safe and warm!

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