Like many other times of the year, the winter season in Long Island often means dangerous storms and extremely cold temperatures. Winter emergency preparedness can keep your family and your home safe.
The primary concern with winter storms generally revolves around the availability of power, which can put your food supply at risk, and often means going without heat for a time. It’s important to adequately prepare for winter emergencies, as well as to know what to do during a storm.
To prepare for a storm and possible power outage:
- Upgrade home insulation where possible to prevent heat loss through the structure.
- Caulk air leaks and use weatherstripping around doors and windows to retain heat.
- Insulate plumbing pipes to avoid pipe freeze, which may cause the pipes to burst.
- Stock the pantry with bottled water and nonperishable foods.
- Keep a supply of batteries and flashlights on hand in case of an outage. Use a weather radio to stay up to date on current conditions.
During a power outage, important factors include:
- Accessing emergency heating equipment — A fireplace, wood-burning stove or portable heater can keep at least one room habitable. Open a window to ensure proper ventilation, and to prevent carbon monoxide hazards.
- Dress for the weather — Wear several layers of light, warm clothing. Keep a hat on to prevent heat loss, and wear mittens to keep your hands warm.
- Watch for signs of frostbite — Symptoms may include loss of feeling or color in fingers, toes, nose and ears. Get medical help if you or a family member displays any of these symptoms.
- Keep an eye out for hypothermia — Symptoms include uncontrollable shivering, slurred speech, disorientation, drowsiness and exhaustion. If someone is displaying these warning signs, take them to a warm area, remove any damp clothing, and warm the core of the body. Give the individual fluids to increase body temperature, and seek help immediately.
- Protect your food source — Avoid opening the doors so food will keep longer.
If you have questions about winter emergency preparedness, contact T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating. Proudly serving Long Island residents, we’re happy to help.
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