How to Prepare for a Winter Storm

Emergencies can come in many forms, from hurricanes and blizzards to power outages and car failures. Once everyone is safe, the thing that makes it an emergency is not having what you need, when you need it. Here are a few ways to help you and your family be prepared for just about anything:

Figure out what you need: Factoring in things like someone’s health condition, or the number of people and pets in your home will help you know what you need and how much. Do you need to have prescriptions refilled or stock up on medical supplies? Do you have enough diapers to tide you over?

Determine how long you’ll need it for: Your home should always have enough food to last you a few days in case of a power failure or road closures.  But if and when a larger storm is headed your way, plan on having a week’s worth of non-perishable food items at the ready, just in case.

Make a menu: Many people make the mistake of buying canned goods they can’t do anything with. A cupboard of canned beans is great, but what are you going to do with them? Plan meals using non-perishable foods so you know what you’ll need to prepare breakfast lunch and dinner. Simple tip: buy individually portioned milk that doesn’t need refrigeration for morning cereals or mac and cheese. This decreases the chance of wasting a whole carton because it spoiled. Also, buy smaller jars of sauces or salsa so that nothing is wasted.

Learn to can: Being able to can your own foods means saving money and having no chemical preservatives in your food. It’s also a great way to store leftovers for an emergency. You can learn to use a pressure canner to store chili, stews, soups, meat sauce, roast beef, fish, or even spare ribs. With all that to select from, you might not be so anxious for the state of emergency to end!

DiBiase Heating & Air also urges you to use extreme caution when using any fuel-burning appliance during a power outage. For example, never operate a gas grill in an unvented space. The same goes for a portable generator.  Also, don’t use your gas oven for heat; it’s simply too dangerous. By the same token, make sure you have plenty of oil for your furnace or boiler or wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.

Speaking of your home heating system, when was the last time you had it professionally cleaned and inspected?  If it’s been a year or longer, the time to request service is now. In fact, call (610) 285-1813 DiBiase so we can ensure that your heating system is up to speed and operating at its energy-efficient best.

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