TIPS: Winter preparedness: A checklist of things you should know, have or do

Source: (Lancaster, PA)

  • Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 10:03 am |Updated: 10:12 am, Tue Feb 4, 2014.

winter weathetAs if winter didn’t already seem endless, this week’s flurry of storms is testing even the most cold-weather tolerant.

Unfortunately we can’t control the weather.

But these simple steps can help you prepare and stay safe at home, behind the wheel and – if you’re truly lucky -out of town, no matter what Mother Nature throws our way next. 


People who are snowed in for an extended period of time have two major concerns: food and heat.

Lancaster County emergency management coordinator Randy Gockley offers tips for making sure your family has plenty of both.

  • ♦ Create a backup plan. Think about what your family would do in case of a power outage or furnace trouble, whether it’s bunking with a relative or huddling around a neighbor’s fireplace.
  • ♦ When winter weather is predicted, assess your arsenal of basic supplies. Have a two-day supply of food and water, flashlights and lanterns, and extra blankets. Add prescription drugs, baby or pet supplies, based on your family’s specific needs.
  • ♦ Homes with a coal or wood stove also should have a carbon monoxide detector. If the alarm goes off or you feel ill, carbon monoxide may be the cause; go outside and call 911.
  • ♦ Pay attention to your home’s pipes. Broken pipes can cause serious damage, and repeated freezing and thawing makes them vulnerable. If you see signs of trouble, call a plumber right away.
  • ♦ Check on elderly or disabled neighbors, who can easily end up trapped at home after a storm. Offer help with shoveling and other tasks.
  • ♦ For more information on disaster planning and preparedness, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s


It’s best to stay off the roads when bad weather hits. But if you must travel, PennDOT offers these safety tips.

  • ♦ Visit or call 511, a free 24-hour source of information on winter road conditions, crashes, delays and weather forecasts that affect roadways statewide.
  • ♦ Keep the gas tank at least half-full.
  • ♦ Clear ice and snow from windows, mirrors and vehicle lights as often as needed.
  • ♦ Remove snow and ice from the vehicle’s hood and roof. According to state law, a driver can be ticketed if snow or ice from a vehicle hits a vehicle or person, causing death or injury.
  • ♦ Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to arrive. Then if you run into an emergency and need help, someone will know where to look for you.


  • ♦ Cellphone and charger
  • ♦ Flashlight and batteries
  • ♦ Battery-operated radio
  • ♦ Jumper cables
  • ♦ Snow shovel
  • ♦ Matches and candles
  • ♦ First-aid supplies
  • ♦ Extra warm clothing and gloves
  • ♦ Blanket
  • ♦ Ice scraper
  • ♦ Sand
  • ♦ Bottled water
  • ♦ Nonperishable food

Read the rest of this great resource article at

Updated: February 4, 2014 — 10:50 am

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 24th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural southern Wyoming, just below the continental divide (long story, that...). Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, many social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

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