Freezing rain, sleet, ice, and snow are all wonderful joys of winter in the Midwest. Before a severe winter storm hits, it is important to be prepared to ensure the safety of your family, your home, and all your belongings. Take these 7 precautionary measures to be fully prepared to handle an ice storm that hits your town:

Stock up on non-perishable foods and water

If a severe ice storm is on the radar, stock up on food and water a few days prior. Ice storms often result in power outages, so it is important to choose foods that don’t require electric appliances to make. Because it is unsafe to venture out in an ice storm, it is important that you stock up on enough food and water to last a few days. Your local water system can go out, so you should stock up on clean drinking water as well.

Invest in a generator

If the power goes out in the middle of winter, your home can become cold very quickly from lack of heat. A motor or battery-powered generator will give you peace of mind knowing you and your family will stay warm. Only use the generator when needed, and make sure you have enough gasoline or back up batteries to ensure you will be safe and warm for a few days.

Stop drafts under doors and around windows

Preserve as much heat inside your house as possible by staying inside the house and not opening any outside doors. The warm air trapped inside your home will escape quickly, forcing you to run your generator more often. If your doors or windows are drafty, use bath towels to stop the cold air from getting in. Always have extra blankets and more clothes accessible at all times, especially for young children.

Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed

If the power has been out for a few hours, you may start to worry about your food in the refrigerator and freezer. To avoid food spoilage, avoid opening the doors and letting all the cool air out.

Stock up on wood for your fireplace

Your wood-burning fireplace will be the best source of heat if the power goes out during an ice storm. Make sure you have a sufficient supply of wood and your fireplace is cleaned out and ready to be used. To learn more about fireplace safety, read our blog about potential fire hazards in your home.

Dust off your flashlight and candles

If the power goes out in the middle of the night, it can be nearly impossible to find your flashlights or candles in the dark basement. If you know an ice storm is headed your way, have these things handy so you’ll be able to manage in the dark.

Salt your sidewalks

Just because the ice storm has passed, that doesn’t mean there aren’t dangers lurking outside your home. If the temperatures remain below freezing, your sidewalks and driveway will be a solid sheet of ice. Lay down sidewalk salt to help melt the ice and make it safe to walk and drive on. Often times, when normal roadway conditions are safe, the most unsafe part will be sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots. Take extra precaution if you venture out. Be aware of black ice, and reduce your driving speed. Always remain a safe distance behind any drivers ahead of you. Many of the most severe vehicle accidents happen as a result of icy roadway conditions. Once your car hits ice, you will lose all control of your vehicle.

Contact ServiceMaster by Rice

ServiceMaster by Rice provides temporary power services when a disaster strikes. Power outages in the winter are the worst because they can result in frozen pipes, resulting in pipes bursting and severe water damage in your home. Our crews also provide temporary lighting or outlet power services. Our temporary power services allow your home to stay warm and your business to stay up and running. Contact ServiceMaster by Rice to learn more today!