Snow is coming: Winter weather preparedness tips


    Kalamazoo - With the potential for significant snow and extreme cold this weekend, you will likely want to prepare ahead of time.

    MDOT told Newschannel 3 they are ready and waiting for the snow to fall, just like they are with every potential snow storm.

    Before Saturday’s expected storm, Friday might be a good day to make sure you have salt or snow melt ready at your house, and check your snow blower's fuel. With a fairly mild season so far, it might be the first time you’re using it for the year.

    The timing of the storm means many people might be able to stay home and off the roads.

    When it comes to keeping the roads clear, MDOT said once the snow falls they will be out plowing until it stops.

    "When we know there's a winter event coming, we know the snow is coming, our garages are fully staffed around the clock, 24/7. As soon as snow starts to stick to the roads, our plows are out,” said Nick Schirripa, MDOT spokesman.

    Another thing to remember: salt doesn’t work as well in subzero and single digit temperatures, so be prepared to give yourself extra time.

    CenStar Energy has a few tips to make sure you are prepared for the incoming snow:

    How to Help Prepare for a Snow Storm

    1. Make sure you have a snow shovel and ice melt to keep walkways clear and safe.
    2. Check that you have sufficient heating fuel for your home and fuel for your generator, if you have one.
    3. If you will be using a fireplace or wood-burning stove, you should have a good supply of dry, seasoned wood.

    What to Do Just Before a Snowstorm

    • When the National Weather Service issues a Winter Storm Watch, it’s wise to start taking precautions for a bigger storm, just in case.
    • Stock up on fuel for the generator.
    • Charge your phones, electronics, rechargeable batteries, and power banks.
    • Make sure flashlights are easily accessible.
    • Fill your gas tank.
    • Stock up on non-perishable foods and toilet paper.
    • Bring your pets and plants inside.
    • Make sure your fireplaces and stoves are clean and in working order.
    • Insulate water pipes with newspapers or other insulation materials.

    To-Do Checklist (With Electrical Power)

    • Keep your thermostat as high as possible for as long as you have electricity.
    • Stay inside. Limit travel to emergencies only.
    • Keep pipes from freezing by turning on every water faucet to a slow drip.
    • Wear dry or waterproof clothes.
    • Stay hydrated with plenty of fluids.

    To-Do Checklist (If the Power Goes Out)

    • If you have one, use a generator and have it power important devices, like the refrigerator and thermostat.
    • Unplug computers and other non-essential electrical equipment to avoid a power surge.
    • Keep the freezer and refrigerator door closed to keep food from spoiling.
    • For extended periods of no electricity, move perishables to garage to stay frozen.
    • Use flashlights to avoid a risk of a fire.
    • When cooking, be mindful of fumes and carbon monoxide poisoning.
    • Have family members dress in layers, and use blankets and towels for extra warmth.
    • Listen for weather updates on the weather radio.

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