3 Steps for Winter Weather Safety

Winter is in full swing in most parts of the U.S., which means winter storms have the propensity to pop up at any moment. Extreme winter weather can wreak havoc on your home and even make staying inside dangerous if you aren’t prepared.

Here are a few key preparation tips to help.

Create a winter survival kit:

  • Light. More than an annoyance, loss of light during a power outage can be downright dangerous. Make sure you have battery-powered lanterns in easy to access locations around your house.
  • Warmth. Stow blankets and sleeping bags in rubber, waterproof tubs in easy to access areas.
  • Sustenance. In another plastic tub, stow non-perishables like canned fruits and vegetables along with water. Aim to have at least one gallon per person per day for at least three days.
  • Backup Power. Portable generators can provide critical backup power during outages. They provide electricity by running a gas-powered engine which turns an on-board alternator to generate electrical power. Briggs & Stratton recently launched it’s 8,000 Elite Series™ Portable Generator with StatStation® Wireless. This Bluetooth®-enabled portable generator allows users to check the performance of the generator without having to brave the elements. Meaning, homeowners can see fuel gauge and run time left before needing to refuel, percent of available watts being consumed, maintenance reminders and more from the comfort of their own home.

    While portable generators can provide users with flexibility and comfort, people should use portable generators appropriately at all times in order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. As a member of the Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association, Briggs & Stratton invites everyone to visit www.TakeYourGeneratorOutside.com to learn more about portable generator safety.

  • Communication plan. When the power fails, it’s important you are able to maintain contact with the outside world to keep up the news and get in touch with family members. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a communication checklist to make sure you’re still connected, even if the power fails. Their recommendations include having:
    • Cell phone, portable charger, extra batteries
    • Battery-powered radio for listening to local emergency instructions
    • Make a Family Communication Plan
    • Know winter storm warning terms:
    • Winter Weather Advisory – winter weather condition that could cause severe inconvenience and life-threatening hazards
      • Frost/Freeze Warning – Below-freezing temperatures
      • Winter Storm Watch – Be alert; storm is likely
      • Winter Storm Warning – Take action; the storm is in or entering the area
      • Blizzard warning – Seek refuge immediately; snow and strong winds, near-zero visibility, deep snow drifts and life-threatening wind chill