Is it still January? One would wonder with the recent weather we’ve experienced; the view outside our window is not quite what we’d expect or hope for in April; however, sometimes Mother Nature has its own plans and we have no choice but to go on with what’s dealt to us!
With that said, unfortunately in recent days the weather brought us snow and ice; a LOT of ice. The ice storm that hit us hard over the weekend was a significant one and it meant many of us were trapped indoors for the weekend. If you were brave enough to face the roads chances are it was not an easy or relaxing drive for you. In fact ice storms can cause a great deal of damage to structures throughout our town and even the smallest amount of freezing rain can make for scary road conditions.
Ice buildup can break tree branches, pull down power lines, damage vehicles and homes. While we hope this is the last of winter, Will Marshall Insurance wanted to share some preparation help should we experience another wintery/icy weekend.
What are some safety tips to keep in mind?
Prior to an Ice Storm
- Put your freezer and refrigerator to the coldest settings
- Stay tuned into weather advisories and warnings; whether on a phone app or news station
- Be sure your gas tank is full
- Consider putting together an emergency supply kit that contains a flashlight, food, water, and a battery operated radio with extra batteries
During an Ice Storm
- If you must go outside during an ice storm, watch tree branches and wires that look like they could break
- Never touch power lines; a hanging line can still be charged, so touching it could cause you to be electrocuted
- Don’t drive anywhere unless you have to; roads get slippery quick and sometimes they may look ok but are extremely hazardous and ice covered
- Wait a few hours to travel if possible; after you’ve seen road maintenance crews out salting the roads you will be much safer
- When safe it is best to tend to your driveway and property, sanding and salting the area
- Consider checking in on elderly family and/or neighbours to ensure their safety
What if there is a power outage?
- To rule out other issues, check your circuit breaker panel or fuse box
- Think about staying elsewhere where there is power especially if you have little ones or live with elderly. If this isn’t possible, layer for extra warmth
- Use towels and rags to keep heat in
- Unplug all electronics to prevent a power surge and turn on appliances slowly once the power comes back on
- Check that your home has a carbon monoxide detector that works and that you have battery backup
- Refrain from opening your fridge or freezer unless you have to because a full freezer will keep food frozen for up to 36 hours if the door is kept shut
- Use a flashlight instead of candles for safety reasons if possible
- Be sure you check for any fallen power lines and notify your electric supply authority as quickly as possible
Reach us in Barrie at 705-726-2551 or in Orillia at 705-326-5664