How To Prepare for a Nor'easter Snow Storm

Courtesy of ABC Local 22 News, ( )

Winter in New England

Living in or visiting New England during the Winter is so beautiful, but we have to be prepared for snowstorms of all sizes. The snowstorm everyone fears the most is a Nor'easter. This Martin Luther King Jr. 2019 Holiday Weekend, the Upper Valley is anticipating a Nor'easter to arrive late Saturday and continue into early Sunday. The Weather Channel has named this incoming Winter Storm Harper.

Photo from Google Images

If you have never heard of a Nor'easter, this is a storm that happens along the Eastern Atlantic Coast with winds that generally originate from the Northeast over the coastal region. A Nor'easter can bring heavy rainfall or snowfall along with heavy wind gusts and even gale force winds. These storms are most prevalent between September and April, although possible to occur at any time of year. Because these storms can be so dangerous, it is important to be prepared for severe winter weather and possible power outages. Learn more about Nor'easters from the National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) here.

These storms can produce record amounts of snowfall during the winter months along with gale force winds, for this reason, it is always best to prepare for power outages and adverse driving conditions.

1. How do you heat your home? Do you have an ample supply of wood or pellets? What is your % is your fuel tank level reading? Do you have a back-up generator? Have you called your home heating provider for a delivery? (In most cases 1-time delivery requests can take some companies 7-14 days to meet your request. Some companies will offer a fee for a same-day or next-day delivery, be cautious this can be very costly.) Have you ensured that your driveway will be plowed, sanded, or salted to ensure your delivery? If your heat is electric-dependant, do you have a space heater or several? Frozen pipes are a homeowner's or renter's worst nightmare! The Red Cross has more info to prevent frozen pipes here.

2. Have you done your laundry? If your power does go out and you don't have a back-up energy supply, you will want to layer up and have clean and cozy blankets to snuggle in. More about frostbite and hypothermia here.

3. Have you purchased a back-up water supply? If the power goes out, so does your ability to use your water supply because your pump (most likely) runs off of electricity. Do you have enough water for your whole family, fur-babies (pets) included? For more ways to stay hydrated read this short article, "10 Ways to Stay Hydrated".

4. Have you stocked your cabinets with non-perishable foods? You may want to hold off on purchasing too many perishables or freezer items, as extended power-outages can lead to spoiled foods. You may want to consider doing a few days' meal-preparation prior to the storm. Perhaps, a crock-pot soup or stew that can be eaten warm or cold. Make sure to have an ample supply of food for your pets as well. More Power Outage Meal Prep Ideas, here and here.

5. Do you have candles, matches, flashlights, and batteries? No power means you have to live in the likes of pre-1879, (the year Thomas Edison invented the electric light-bulb).

6. Do you have analog entertainment? LOL! ie: board games, cards, books, magazines, coloring books, and crayons? To have music or news I recommend investing in a small, battery-operated radio for these quiet times.

7. Do you have snow-removal tools? ie: shovel, snowblower, or plow service.

8. Do you have a back-up battery pack for your phone in case of an emergency? Do you know where it is? Is it charged? Is your phone charged?

9. Is your car prepared? Do you have winter tires? Is the gas tank full? Do you have an emergency car kit? ie: clothes, blankets, snow scrapers and brushes, jumper cables, first-aid kit, sand or kitty litter, shovel, flares, flashlights, water, and non-perishable food items? Driving during a Nor'easter is never recommended due to the many dangers. Should you have to drive, it is ideal to have an emergency car-kit prepared in the event you get stuck or stranded. Here in Vermont, New Hampshire and the Upper Valley, there are roads where the nearest house could be miles away and there may not be cell phone reception to let anyone know you are stranded. Be safe and don't drive unless you have!

It is so important to be aware of the weather common to your location. Stay in the know about winter weather outlooks, advisories, watches, and warnings. Learn the difference between these caution words, here.

Be safe. Be smart. Stay warm.

Check your weather here:

Other helpful preparedness websites:

This article was brought to you by The Woodstock Local.
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