Even though it may not seem like it with recent warm weather, temperatures are beginning to cool and the potential for winter storms is approaching. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is encouraging Hoosiers to get ready during Winter Weather Preparedness Week,.
“Indiana has repeatedly seen severe winter storms that have the capability of producing dangerous amounts of snow and ice,” said John Erickson, director of public affairs for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. “Taking appropriate steps to prepare for these types of storms can help reduce the risk of life-threatening situations and costly damage.”
One step that Hoosiers can take to prepare their homes for winter is ridding gutters of debris or leaves before snow and ice accumulate. When gutters are clogged and the ice and snow from winter storms melt, water can back up and flow beneath a roof, causing costly water damage. A way to prevent debris and leaf build-up is to purchase a screen to cover the gutters.
IDHS also recommends removing dead branches from trees surrounding the home. Ice and snow can weigh down branches which can lead to them snapping and damaging property.
Before winter arrives, homeowner insurance policies should be reviewed to ensure that coverage is adequate for the winter weather that occurs in Indiana each year.
Hoosiers should use Winter Weather Preparedness Week to create or maintain a preparedness kit that may be needed during winter storms.
Items to add to a preparedness kit include:
• Food and water for three days, including one gallon of water per person, per day
• Battery or hand crank all-hazard (weather) radio
• Extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Extra clothing, sturdy shoes, blankets and personal hygiene items
• List of emergency phone numbers
• Copies of important documents (photo ID, Social Security card, etc.)
• Cash in small bills (Power outages can limit use of ATMs and credit cards.)
• Special items based on specific needs (baby formula, extra medication, etc.)
A car readiness kit should also be placed in cars in case motorists are stranded during a winter storm. These kits should include:
• Cell phone and charger for vehicle use
• At least two blankets or a sleeping bag
• Bottled water and non-perishable food
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• First aid kit and necessary medication
• Jumper cables
• Emergency flares
• Extra clothing, including boots, hats and gloves
• Sand or non-clumping cat litter for tire traction
• Ice scraper and snow brush
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