A winter weather emergency is something to take seriously in Colorado, because a light snowfall can quickly become a crippling blizzard.
Hypothermia and food and water shortages are real risks if you’re unable to get to a warm spot where supplies are available. Putting together an emergency kit and developing a plan are the best ways to ensure that you can safely ride out a winter weather emergency.
Keep enough drinking water on hand for three days. Stock your pantry with canned foods.
Try to avoid using any camping stove inside your home. If you must use a stove, make sure it is UL-approved. Put it next to an open window or door, and have a working carbon-monoxide detector nearby.
If possible, have a sleeping bag for each family member. If you don’t have sleeping bags for everyone, use your bedding to stay warm.
Know where your flashlights are and have enough batteries on hand. Candles are dangerous to use for lighting, especially if you have small children or pets.
Planning and preparation
Make sure your home is insulated, and all air leaks are sealed. This will help to keep the warm air inside your home when the heat’s off.
Learn where to turn off your furnace if the power goes out, or install a surge protector for your HVAC equipment. Without one of these measures you run the risk of an equipment-damaging surge when the power returns.
Find out how to open your garage door manually. If you have a car charger for a cell phone, you can keep the battery topped off by charging it with your vehicle. Never run your car in a garage that’s attached to your home, even with the garage door open. CO buildup could be an issue.
Make sure your smoke and CO detectors are operational by pushing the test button every month. Replace the batteries if the alarms don’t sound.
Allow the water taps to trickle. If you have any plumbing along an exterior wall, open the cabinets to allow warm air to reach the pipes. These precautions could help to keep your plumbing lines from freezing.
For more information about managing a winter weather emergency, contact the Rheem Pro Partner. We’re a network of HVAC providers in Denver, Aurora and Colorado Springs, and we can help you improve your safety during severe weather.