Winter Storm Safety Checklist for New Jersey
Ready for another round of volatile winter weather, New Jersey? With the chance of snow at 100%, it might be prudent to make a plan. Here is the latest Winter Storm Jonas update for NJ:
FRIDAY: Calm before the storm. Sun to high clouds with highs in the mid-30s and wind chills in teens and 20s.
FRIDAY NIGHT: Increasing clouds, flurries with a low around 25 degrees.
SATURDAY: Snow in New York City by daybreak. Heavy snow all day into Saturday night.
* Flurries in city Friday night, snow begins in South Jersey.
* Saturday morning snow by daybreak in city
* Snows during day on Saturday with most accumulation in Saturday afternoon and evening.
* Storm exits early Sunday morning.
Here is the latest estimated snowfall map:
Even if you’ve experienced a few brutal winters in the past, it’s always a good idea to review safety practices and procedures in case of an unforeseen emergency. We have compiled a list of the essentials that every family should follow.
Winter Storm Preparation
You’ve probably already made the trip to the grocery store to stock up on essentials. (Or maybe you found yourself stocking up on whatever was left on the aisles after the frenzied masses hit them?) Even if you think you have all the bases covered, there is always that one necessity that was somehow forgotten.
Below is a list of important steps that everyone should consider before a massive winter storm.
- Stock Supplies: The Red Cross recommends that you keep at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food and water – enough for each person in the home. Flashlights, batteries, candles and matches are also must-have supplies for an extended winter storm.
- Snow Management: Depending on where you live, you might need rock salt, sand and shovels to ensure that your driveway, patio and sidewalks are safe to use. Try to keep them in an accessible area such as a mud room or back patio.
- Alternative Heating: Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel in case your electricity is compromised; this would include seasoned wood for your fireplace and kerosene for lamps.
- Clothing/Blankets: Do you have enough clothing (including outerwear) and blankets to make it through a potential blackout? Extra jackets, thermal wear and blankets will go a long way in keeping everyone warm.
- NOAA Weather: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a radio and web presence that broadcasts alerts and warnings for all hazardous weather. You can sign up in advance to receive notifications on local weather advisories.
- Make a Family Communications Plan: Ready.gov strongly suggests that you make a communications plan in the event hazardous weather strikes when you are apart, and we do too. Cell phones are great for keeping people connected, but what happens when there is no electricity to charge the batteries? You need a plan!
- Bring Pets Inside: Make sure that all pets/companion animals are brought inside during inclement weather. It’s actually a crime to leave pets outside during extreme weather. Move livestock and other outdoor pets to sheltered areas with plenty of food and water.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Press the test buttons on all of your smoke and CO alarms and wait for the alarm. Make sure your smoke and CO alarms have fresh, working batteries.
Testing your CO batteries is especially important in the winter when homeowners are using their heating systems and portable generators.
Speaking of portable generators, winter storms account for 46% of deaths from portable generator use. If you have a portable generator, watch this video to learn some essential safety tips:
Visit the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) website for more electrical-related winter storm safety tips:
- Always assume fallen power lines are energized. Stay at least 10 feet away from a downed power line and any nearby objects it may be touching, such as a fence or a tree limb.
- Contact your utility company immediately to report downed power lines outside your home.
- Never touch a person or object that is in direct or indirect contact with a downed power line. Instead, call 911 immediately.
- Never attempt to move a downed power line – leave it to the professionals.
- Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
- Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
- Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
- Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep, and don’t let pets or children play too close to a space heater.
- Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
- Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.
- Locate space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
- Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
- Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
- Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.
More Winter Weather Safety Tips:
The best protocol for keeping safe during a winter storm is to simply stay inside. But in the real day-to-day, this isn’t always possible. If you must venture out, make sure you take these precautions:
- Avoid Overexertion: When shoveling snow or treating icy sidewalks, make sure to pace yourself and keep hydrated. Overexertion can cause a heart attack or stroke – both of which are major causes of death in the winter.
- Keep Dry: Make sure to change wet clothing whenever possible to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
- Drive Only If Necessary: If you must drive make sure that you travel in the day and steer clear of back roads. Don’t travel alone and keep other people informed of your schedule.
- Share Travel Plans: Before you attempt to drive anywhere, be sure to let someone else know your destination. Share your route and your expected time of arrival. If anything happen to your vehicle during travel, someone can be sent to search along your predetermined route.
- Emergency Kits: Update the emergency kits in your vehicles. In addition to the basics, try to keep a supply of water and non-perishable food items.
How to Properly Shovel Snow:
More Winter Storm Emergency Information:
– Checklist: Here’s what you need for a major snowstorm
– Emergency resources for the winter storm
– New York City prepped for winter snow storm, Mayor Bill de Blasio says
– New Jersey, Long Island prep for blast of winter snow, flooding
– New York area preps for winter snow blast
With a little preparation, you and your family can keep safe and healthy throughout the tumultuous winter season. Your home, on the other hand, may not be so lucky.
Even the most prepared homeowner is sometimes blindsided by the destructive nature of ice and snow.
Contact the professionals at Gold Medal Service if your pipes freeze/burst, water is leaking into your home, the power goes out, or anything else. Our technicians are available 24/7 (snow or shine) for all of your home service needs.
Give us a call today at 1-877-803-0511 or schedule an appointment online! We’re available 24/7 to solve all of your home service needs.