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What do to do when inclement weather hits

What to do when the weather is frightful

With hurricane Matthew hitting the Caribbean and Accuweather publishing it's winter weather prediction for the country. Calling for frequent storms in the northeast it can lead some to wonder what they should do when bad weather strikes.

In the event of a snow storm or a blizzard like what we saw in 2013 the most important thing to do is to stay inside once the storm starts. As we all know road conditions can deteriorate quickly, in most cases it is best to let the storm run it's course. 

To prepare for a blizzard it's important to have an emergency kit for your home in the event that you lose power. The kit should include a flashlight, a first aid kit, non-perishable food, batteries, matches in a waterproof container, toothbrush and toothpaste, soap or body wash, paper papers and plastic utensils, water, sleeping bag, manual can opener, and pet supplies.  Now you many only be without for a few hours and all of these supplies many seem like overkill, it is better to be on the safe side and plan for a prolonged outage.  It is also a good idea to have a few board games or a deck of cards around to keep you entertained in case any battery powered electronics die.  In advance of the storm make sure your cell phones are fully charged in case you need to make a phone call.

In the event that you lose power during a snow storm there are few things that you can do to keep any perishable items in your fridge or freeze from getting ruined.  First keep your fridge or freezer closed as long as you possibly can, opening it will let any cold air out and greatly increase the need for the next step. If you are worried that the temperature has begun to rise too much you can transfer the contents of your fridge or freeze outside into the snow.  There are some downfalls to this, one being if left out for awhile the food could attract wild animals. If you suspect that your power will return soon than leaving your fridge or freeze contents shouldn't be too much of an issue.

The most fun of course comes from the clean up after a snow storm. Personally I love snow and don't mind shoveling out my driveway that much, it's a good workout but there are some things that I detest.  Ice is by far the thing I hate the most about winter, of course I shouldn't complain that much if I love snow.  Slippery steps, walkways, and driveways all can and usually do happen as snow melts and water spreads back on to your nicely cleared paths.  Some sand or melt away is a great way to battle against this, keep in mind that some melt away many "burn" the paws of your dog so be mindful.

Another part of the clean up is the prolonged clean up and preventative measures we take to ensure that no damage is done to our homes.  A common issues are ice build ups or dams. My parents had a lot of fun with this a few years ago. Ice damn happen when water is trapped inside or under ice or snow and then seeps into your home, creating a lot of damage.  A first step against this would be to properly insulate your attic, if heat can't escape as easily through roof, since heat rises ice dams won't form as easily.  Another not so favorable way to prevent against ice dams would be to clear snow off of problem areas on your roof. This should be done only if your are comfortable with climbing a ladder and shouldn't be done alone in the event your fall or the ladder falls. Some helpful tips for ice dam prevention can be found here.

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