Okay, okay. We know that bringing up snow and ice on a beautiful 74 degree day in late November might not be the best time to talk about bad weather. But rest assured – the coldest days of winter are on their way.

Our state saw its fair share of winter storms in 2014, so let’s all take the time now to reacquaint ourselves with winter safety tips.

Safety Precautions Before A Storm Hits

  • Create an “emergency supply kit” full of essentials like blankets, flashlights, batteries, food and first aid items.
  • Fill up your car with gas. Since gas stations often rely on electricity to power their pumps, a power outage may leave you stranded and without gas.
  • We work with arborists to employ a right-of-way program that keeps tree limbs clear from power lines to ensure system reliability. However, if you see limbs near power lines close to your home, please call our office so we can address the issue. Do not try to trim trees near power lines yourself

    Driving safety

  • If possible, avoid driving during winter storms. If you absolutely have to drive, be sure to clear your windows and mirrors before getting on the road.
  • Reduce your speed and maintain a safe following distance behind other vehicles because snow and ice may cause skidding.
  • Do not apply the brakes if you begin to slide. Instead, take your foot off of the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide.
  • If traffic lights are out, treat the intersection like a four-way stop.
  • Use extreme caution when crossing bridges and overpasses as they accumulate ice before other parts of the road.

    Protecting Your Home During Winter Weather

  • Prevent your pipes from freezing by turning your faucets on just enough so they can drip.
  • If using a space heater or heat lamp, be sure to place it on a solid surface at least three feet away from anything combustible. Always turn off space heaters before leaving the room or going to sleep.
  • Never leave a fireplace unless its embers are completely extinguished. Also consider using a glass or metal fire screen to catch sparks and rolling logs, and never store flammable liquids near sources of heat.
  • Know how to use your generator. Generators should be placed in an open and ventilated area. They should never be operated inside a home — including spaces like the basement and garage — due to the danger of inhaling carbon monoxide fumes.

    Let’s hope for an easy winter with no severe weather and power outages, but you just never know. Stay safe, plan now.

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