MOORESVILLE, NC – It’s been four years since the Lake Norman area received a significant amount of snow, and the forecast indicates that there is winter precipitation in the maps this weekend.
With snowflakes or ice in the weather forecast, there are some steps you need to take in advance to prepare if the roads are impassable or the power goes out and you probably want more than just milk and bread on hand.
Here are some tips to share with those who may not have encountered winter weather before, or for those who may need a reminder of how to prepare.
1) Bring pets, plants inside. You want to move on and give your pets and plants a safe, warm place to ride out the storm. If there are vulnerable plants outside that cannot be brought in, now is the time to cover them with a tarpaulin. If you have large outdoor animals as pets, you need to have a plan to get them fresh water that does not freeze.
2) Prepare your car. The CDC recommends that you check the antifreeze levels in your car prior to a winter storm and add more as needed. Wiper fluid can also freeze, so consider replacing it with a winter weather product. Check your tire pressure, make sure they are full. Also have a full tank of gas. If you are going to travel in winter conditions, make a winter set that has blankets, snacks, bottled water, necessary medicine, a portable phone charger and other necessary things that you need if you are stranded or stuck in traffic for a long time.
3) Stock up on food. If the power goes out or you are trapped at home for a few days, make sure you have enough food to cope. The Weather Channel recommends having a three-day supply of food if you have to toot for that long. Buy some products that you can eat without using power like peanut butter and jelly, bread, biscuits and fruits and vegetables. In my winter storm experience, chips and salsa were winners.
4) Make sure you have water. Grab your recyclable water bottles and refill them now so you don’t get pinched later. Bottled water is one of the first items to run out in stores, so it can help to have recyclable bottles on hand if you can’t get new bottles ahead of the storm. Think about how much water your pets and everyone else in the household needs and need extra.
5) Get filled out recipes. Go ahead and make sure you have the medication you and the household need ready in case you can not get to the pharmacy or the pharmacy needs to close.
6) Protect your pipes. This is one that people sometimes forget, but if the temperature drops below freezing long enough, pipes can freeze and burst and no one needs these repair bills. Cover your faucets outside and let the water drip inside to prevent the headache.
7) Stay connected. If the power goes out, then how do you get information? If you can, get a portable cell phone charger or make sure your car has a car charger so you can make sure your phone has access to power. A weather radio is also a good investment. This is a good time to make sure you also have batteries and flashlights.
8) Check smoke detectors. Also check your carbon monoxide detector. With the use of space heaters and other ways to keep warm, the risk of fire is much greater in winter weather. Encourage your neighbors to check their smoke detectors as well. There is always a fire that could have been prevented if a smoke detector had worked.
If you have more advice, feel free to share it in the comments!