Ice, snow, wind and freezing temperatures create hazardous winter conditions that can lead to utility power failures. Preparing the home for extreme winter weather is central to creating a safe and comfortable environment. Generac Power Systems offers an abundance of helpful tips for preparing a safe and winter storm−ready home.
Focus first on emergency power. Power loss can have a negative and cascading effect on the home that amplifies existing health and safety risks. Arranging for backup power with a home standby generator is the best way to ensure a warm, well−lit, safe environment for homebound families. Home standby generators will automatically keep critical home systems running during a utility power outage. It is important to consult an expert, such as an authorized Generac dealer, who is familiar with local electrical and building codes as well as product options to meet personal and home needs.
Perform outside maintenance. Trimming long tree branches near the house and power lines reduces the risk of home damage and power outages. Keep gutters, exterior chimneys and vents clear of debris and snow. Cover window wells with plastic to keep water from seeping into the basement. If you’re using a portable generator, it’s important to use it safely. Clear an exterior area for safe use of the unit. Never operate a portable generator inside the home or in a garage. Portable generators must be stationed outside, a safe distance away from windows or doors, while in operation.
Keep storm safety and maintenance tools accessible in the garage. Make sure the snowblower and portable generator are working properly. Winterize automobiles with a full tank of gas, water, flashlights, a snow brush, sand, warm clothing and blankets. Keep a supply of sand, salt, snow melt and shovels for clearing the driveway, walkway and steps.
Stock the pantry and kitchen with food, water and first aid supplies. Keep a three-day supply of food and water for family and pets and a first aid kit with bandages, alcohol wipes, antibiotic ointment and a thermometer.
Double-check the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. Running out of life-sustaining medications can be disastrous when wintry conditions preclude a trip to the pharmacy. A three-day supply of medications—both over-the-counter and prescriptions— is recommended. Stock water for flushing if the home is on a septic system.
The home office is command central for emergencies. Vital documents may be needed at a moment’s notice. Keep a list of medications and other pertinent medical information, the deed or lease to your home, birth certificates, insurance policies, and family and emergency contact information together in the home office.