Ice Storm Preparation List
the storm which will bring ice Saturday night through Sunday will not be for the faint hearted. The latest model data is showing 25-40 mm of frozen precipitation falling over an 18 hour period. This could fall as sleet, freezing rain, or both. The worst case scenario is that it all falls as freezing rain while winds gusting 60-90 km/hr are blowing. The key here will be to take proper precautions so you are as prepared as possible. Get any errands done Friday or early Saturday as the rest of the weekend will be rather difficult.
General Ice Storm Tips:
1) Batteries, flashlights, portable radio, matches, candles – get them and know where they are when the time comes.
2) Save your freezer items and store water at the same time!
If you think the water could be out for more than 24 hours, fill ziplock bags with water and fill your freezer with them. The dead air space in your freezer will heat up the quickest and cause things to start to melt and eventually spoil. Filling the dead air space with homemade bags of ice will keep your freezer cold much longer and prevent food spoilage a little longer. In an extended blackout/emergency, these bags can also be melted for drinking water.
3) Proactively prune trees around your house, driveway, and utility lines
Look for tree limbs that could cause damage to wires, your car/house or other infrastructure if they cracked under the weight of ice. Consider pruning them now.
4) Call friends and family before the power goes out…especially the elderly
Check in and let them know you are prepared and ready. Check that they have gone through their Winter Storm Preparedness Checklist and know how to stay safe during ice storms.
5) Prevent Carbon monoxide poisoning as it kills many people during ice storms.
This can be a real issue if the power is still on and any of the off-gassing vents get blocked by ice. Know where different appliances such as your furnace, wood stove, backup generator and clothes dryer vent out of the house. Make sure the openings of these do not get blocked with ice and cause fumes to travel back into the house. If the power goes out, make sure you turn off anything that runs on gas or propane. If they get damaged while the power is out (from ice) then come back on suddenly, you may not realize they are damaged. This poses the risk of explosions, fire, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
6) Prevent Slipping Injuries
Fill up a few pails with sand or buy a couple of bags of sand/salt mix from the hardware or garden store. Consider getting slide on crampons that slip overtop of your boots in case you have to travel outside. These are a great thing to keep in a car emergency kit and are nice to have for winter hikes and enjoyment in general. Crampons are small spikes on the bottom of your boots that give you better traction and prevent slipping and falling. You can often get these at the local outdoors store. It is kind of like putting chains on your tires.
7) Fill your bathtub, sinks and kitchen pots with water before the power goes out, especially if you are remote and living in well water. Without power your water pump won’t work. This water will help keep your toilets flushing.
This stored water can also be used for drinking, hygiene and cleaning.
8) Prevent Fires & Explosions
Turn off and unplug electrical appliances to prevent a power surge when the power comes back on. Also, turn off gas and propane. If these get damaged by the ice storm, and you do not realize it, they could cause a severe accident such as an explosion or fire when the power comes back on come back on. If you use candles during a power outage, put them inside a mason jar or suitable non flammable container that does not tip over easily. Don’t leave them unattended. Fires started by candles are common hazard during power outage.
9) CHARGE YOUR PHONES AND PHONE AUXILIARY POWER BEFORE THE POWER GOES OUT!!!!!