Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Some winter storms are large enough to affect several states, while others affect only a single community. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.
Regardless of the severity of a winter storm, you should be prepared in order to remain safe during these events.
Know the Difference
Winter Storm Outlook – Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.
Winter Weather Advisory – Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
Winter Storm Watch – Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.
Winter Storm Warning – Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.
How to Prepare for a Winter Storm
Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Put Together a Supply Kit
Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
Flashlight [Available on the Red Cross Store]
Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) [Available on the Red Cross Store]
First aid kit [Available on the Red Cross Store]
Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
Sanitation and personal hygiene items
Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
Tools/supplies for securing your home
Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets and warm clothing for all household members
Ample alternate heating methods such as fireplaces or wood- or coal-burning stoves
Remaining Safe During a Winter Storm
Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information on snow storms and blizzards from the National Weather Service (NWS).
Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure that their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.
Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold.
Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.
Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.
Help people who require special assistance such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
Caution: Carbon Monoxide Kills
Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.
Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.
Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.
Frostbite and hypothermia are two dangerous and potentially life-threatening emergencies. Learn how to care for these emergencies by taking a first aid class.
Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.
We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.
Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.
Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.
Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.
During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.
Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:
We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.
Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.
- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.
To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.
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