Monday, October 31, 2011

Winter Storm Survival

More than 3 million people on the East Coast were hit with power outages as an early winter storm blasted through the region. Connecticut Governor Dannel Mallory said a record number of residents of his state were without electricity and could be for a week. "Ir you are without power, you should expect to be without power for a prolonged period of time," he stated.

The snowstorm dumped more than 2 feet of snow in some places, snarling air traffic and highway travel throughout the New England states. The combination of heavy, wet snow and trees that still carried their leaves resulted in downed power lines as trees shed their limbs or fell over altogether. In Pennsylvania, a man was killed with a snow-burdened tree fell on his home while he was asleep in his recliner. Another man was electrocuted when he stopped to observe police and fire fighters working on downed power lines.

From all this, we can learn a lesson or two.

  • Don't rely on the calendar to tell you when winter will arrive. The weather can get out of its normal routine. 
  • Always be prepared to have to stay overnight (or longer) in your vehicle, if weather traps you away from home. Have what you need to survive in the car. 
  • Prepare your home so you can live comfortably without electrical power or the municipal water supply. You need water and food stored up for emergencies. You need alternate cooking and heating methods that are safe to use in your house. And you need warm clothes so you can stay comfortable as the house chills. 
  • Have what you need at home so you can live without going to the store for a couple weeks. How's your toilet paper supply?
  • If you see downed power lines, do not stop to gawk, and don't get out of your vehicle if power lines fall on it. 

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