Monster Blizzard – Preparedness Tips
Yes there is a Blizzard coming, and YES, you need to Prepare!
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As detailed via a variety of news organizations, two ferocious storm systems are expected to converge overnight across the Northeast and create what could be a historic blizzard for parts of the region.
A wintery blast churning across the country and a cold front barreling up and along the East Coast will unite, and potentially dump up as much as a foot of snow in New York and up to three feet in Boston between Friday and Saturday.
“If you are on the highway and you are stuck, you are putting yourself in danger,” said CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers on Thursday.
Boston could see snowfall of 2 to 3 inches per hour, and 24 inches within 24 hours, as frigid gusts swirl across the region. The system has already drawn comparisons to the so-called “Great Blizzard” of 1978, when thousands were stranded as fast-moving snow drifts blanketed highways and left several people dead.
Firestorm Principal Blair Neville of Ridgeville, NJ reminds us:
“Businesses need to plan for employee absences. Employees may not be able to get to work or they have to leave early to get home safely or to collect children that are released early from school. Given that many of your employees may not lose electricity, make sure that they are trained to access their email and critical systems remotely.”
“The Village of Ridgewood Office of Emergency Management has an excellent site that we use as a resource – http://oem.ridgewoodnj.net/ “
Prepare for extended power outages and blocked roads.
- Winds, ice and snow tend to bring down power lines. If you see downed power lines – Don’t go near them and alert the authorities of the location of the downed lines.
- Stay indoors and await official word from local authorities with regard to roads and travel.
- Make sure that you have candles, matches and lighters, a battery operated radio/TV, hand-crank generators, blankets, and emergency food supplies on hand. Think about where you’ll place candles or oil lamps to avoid fire hazards. Closely monitor children around these light sources and keep out of reach of children if possible.
- REMEMBER batteries for your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors.
- Never use propane/charcoal grills indoors.
- Have plenty of food staples available. Peanut butter requires no refrigeration. The grain Quinoa is a superfood and an excellent source of protein. Nexis Preparedness Systems has a fantastic selection of supplies for this and like emergencies.
“Pasta is another great food that is easy to store and can also be used for Arts and Crafts projects for the Kids!!,” advises Blair Neville, “Prepare ahead.”
During Superstorm Sandy, Firestorm Associate, New Jersey resident and mom of two, Pam Mancuso, explained how, as coffee drinkers, planning ahead helped during the extended power outage: “One of the things we learned during Sandy is to make lots of coffee ahead of time, keep it in a pitcher in the fridge, and then take out what we needed to reheat on our gas stovetop (a French Press works great too!). A warm cup of coffee was a must in the morning, especially when facing another day without power.”
“Another thing that was very helpful,” said Mancuso, “is to do laundry ahead of the storm. That way you know you have the maximum amount of clean clothing (and underwear).
Ms. Mancuso detailed her Preparedness plans for us for this article:
- “I have 2 – 5 gallon gas cans filled up for the generator. Oil for the generator is set aside. The generator is in its ready place. I have wood for the fireplace at the ready, too.
- I am in the process of doing all the laundry.
- Tomorrow, I will brew 2 large pots of coffee and put them in the fridge. I can then reheat the coffee on my gas stove top should we lose power.
- I have lots of matches set aside, near all the important things – next to the fireplace and next to the stove.
- I have all the flashlights out and batteries next to them. I picked up some more lantern oil for the 4 oil lanterns we have, too. Candles and the oil lanterns are out for easy access.
- Tomorrow afternoon, I will put grocery items on the dining room table so I don’t have to dig through a dark pantry should we lose electricity.
- Snow shovels are near the garage door and the snow blower has been tested and is at the ready.
- Both cars are filled with gas.
- Ice maker is on. I will fill bags tomorrow. This is less of a concern for me during this storm as the temperature will keep things cool.
- What we are most worried about down here is the wind and the ocean. We still have no dunes since Sandy took them all. Ocean surge will just push onto land and into towns with very little resistance – these same towns that were devastated by Sandy. The forecast is for winds over 50mph. While we lost many trees back in October, there are still some large ones that were weakened by Sandy but are still standing. Because of how close the ocean (moderating factor) is, we are also preparing for some periods of rain during the day tomorrow that will change to ice as the temperatures drop through the afternoon and night. This will weigh down weak trees and probably do even more damage.
- No, I’m not an alarmist. I’m a realist who lived through Sandy and will be as prepared as I can be for this next storm. But I’m actually hoping that a storm named “Nemo” won’t be that bad…”just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”
- Follow Jersey Shore Hurricane News on Facebook
More tips from our team below the video. Want to share your tips? Comment now!
Other tips from our team:
- Fill your extra freezer space with plastic bags of water, stacked one upon the other to conserve space. When the power goes out, use these for water, and to keep refrigerator cool. Group all foods in refrigerator as closely together as possible to conserve temperature. Open the doors of both freezer and refrigerator as little as possible.
- Pre-freeze water in bags and stack and store in extra beverage coolers. Store outside, next to doors for easy access, or in garages to maintain temperature. Do not store food in outside coolers to dissuade wildlife destruction of supplies.
- Be prepared with alternative heat sources such as firewood, and plenty of blankets. Better still, a generator with plenty of fuel.
- Never, ever run your motor vehicle for heat or light in your garage or in any other enclosed space.
- If you become stranded in your car during storm, be prepared with plenty of warm clothes and packaged foods and water. Do not run the engine to keep warm. The danger of carbon monoxide poisoning is high. Snow can block your exhaust pipe and fill the car with deadly fumes. Also, if you keep the engine running you may run out of gas before the storm is over.
- You may run the engine in short bursts. Turn the engine on long enough only to keep the car warm and then turn it off. Keep this routine up until the conditions are stable enough for you to get back on the road.
- Do not leave your vehicle, especially in white-out conditions. You may quickly become disoriented and stranded outside.
- Designate a central supply location or locations with tools (get out that multi-tool!), food and supplies in your home to make it easy for family members to locate in the dark. Move elderly or infirm family members to a central location in the home, close to alternate, safe heat sources, bedding, food, water, medicines, and other critical supplies.
- Fill bathtubs with water and keep a bucket nearby toilet to facilitate flushing. Avoid flushing toilets or using excessive water if the home has its own water pump. Small amounts of water can be drawn periodically over a long period of time if the water system was at full pressure when the power went out. With a city water system, water will probably still be available in limited quantity when the power goes out. A toilet can be flushed manually by pouring a bucket of water directly into the bowl (or tank using the flush handle). Keep standing flashlights and hand-wipes well-stocked and available in bathrooms. If you have a hot-tub, this water may be used to refill bathtubs for sanitary uses only, not for ingestion. Melted snow can be used to replenish this backup, utility water.
- Along with warm clothes and blankets, consider stocking your Blizzard Kit with the following: batteries, flash lights, battery operated radio/television, bottled water, toilet paper, nonperishable foods such as cereal or crackers, canned goods, a non electric can opener, candles, prescription medicines and any over-the-counter remedies you use regularly; and if you have young infants or toddlers – diapers, baby wipes, formula, baby food.
- Stock up on shovels, snow salt and snow removal equipment before the snow storm. You may also want to cover the windows and spaces around the doors to keep drafts at a minimum in the event the heat shuts off.
- If you have a cell phone, make sure it is charged and easy to find. An inexpensive, hand-crank charger is an excellent pre-planning item. Even if the phone and power lines go out you can get word out that you are stranded and need help.
- Locate your local community Social Media Resources and websites. Sign-up for local emergency text messages.
- STAY INSIDE. However tempting it may be for kids to go out and make snow angels or play in the falling snow, use caution. Blowing winds – both before and after a blizzard – are cold enough to cause frostbite, and snowdrifts may hide dangers.
- Check flights: Airlines encouraged fliers to change their plans and get out of the way. There are already delays of more than two hours at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, where tangles can snarl air traffic across the country, and hundreds of flights were canceled.
As we have said before, Don’t Underestimate this Storm!
“When this hits, it’s going to come down very hard,” said Tom Niziol, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel. “This is something we haven’t seen in a while, particularly in New England.”
The National Weather Service put the New York City area and Long Island under a blizzard warning and said those areas could get more than a foot of snow. Earlier in the day, the weather service warned that travel in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island could become nearly impossible.