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Preparing for a major winter storm

For many, a winter storm in New England means a time to sit back, relax, enjoy a hot chocolate or hot toddy and watch the snow pile up. As we have been saying, the storm that’s heading for Southern New England is most likely not going to be your average Nor’easter. This storm requires a little more preparation than most winter storms due to its high potential to bring tons of snow, and winds strong enough to cause power outages. Here are some basic preparation tips to make sure you’re ready for the worst that this storm has to offer. Some of this information comes from

  • Before the storm approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:
    • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
    • Sand to improve traction.
    • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
    • Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
    • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
  • Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
  • Keep your cell phone, tablet, or laptop on the charger during the storm. If power goes out, then you’ll have a full battery.
  • Shovel in shifts, if possible. If you wait until the storm ends, then shoveling out of your house may be quite a challenge with the possibility of huge snow drifts. The height of the storm is coming at night, so a late-night shoveling session may be in order for Friday.
  • Make sure you have gas/oil for your snowblower. There has only been one snowblower worthy storm so far this winter. Start it up today if you can to be certain it’s running properly.
  • It’s probably a good idea to make sure you have a full tank of gas in your car just in case the storm reaches the extreme levels of some of the all-time greats in Southern New England. Remember, it can take days to dig out of the real big storms!
  • Download the RightWX app for your Android or iOS device. This free app has forecasts, radars, National Weather Service warnings, and updates sent directly from the Right Weather team.
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Pet Safety tips from the American Red Cross

  • If possible, bring your pets inside during cold winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water.
  • If the animals are outside, make sure their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.

The following tips on winter pet safety are provided by the Humane Society of the United States:

  • If pets cannot come indoors, make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free enclosure large enough to allow them to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in the pet’s body heat. Raise the floor a few inches off the ground and cover it with cedar shavings or straw. Turn the enclosure away from the wind and cover the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
  • Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet’s paws. Wipe their paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.
  • Antifreeze is a deadly poison. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach.

Fred Campagna

President and Chief Meteorologist - Right Weather LLC AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist #756 AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist #126

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