Winter is upon us! The first day of winter is marked by the winter solstice, which occurs on Wednesday, December 21, 2022. In Pennsylvania, we know snow, sleet, ice, extreme cold, and winds can wreak havoc on us at any given point. So, what kind of challenges can winter hazards create, and how do we prepare for them?

winter stormWinter weather can create hazards at home, such as: 

  • Loss of electricity and other utilities
  • Loss of heating
  • Supply shortages

Preparing for these hazards includes:

  • Keep electronics charged, like cell phone
  • Ensure a good supply of extra batteries for items like weather radios and flashlight
  • Make sure your generator is serviced and ready to use safely
  • Make sure any heating fuel tanks are full
  • Ensure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in working order
  • Have extra supplies on hand, including baby items, medicine, nonperishable food, water, and pet supplies
  • Fuel or charge up your vehicle as an alternate source to charge electronics
  • Make sure pipes are protected from extreme cold
  • Seal doors and windows to prevent warm air from escaping

Also, it’s a good time to brush up on your emergency plan. Are your contacts up to date? Do you have somewhere else to go before the storm to shelter if you don’t have the means to do so in your home? Think about the actions you would need to take if winter weather impacts your day-to-day activities.