After a winter storm hits, the whole city starts to shake off the snow, trying to get things up and running again. As the clean up efforts begin, it’s important to keep the health and safety of you and your loved ones as the top priority. As you move forward after the effects of a winter storm, keep these ten things in mind.

10 Things to do After a Blizzard or Winter Storm

  1. Check up on everyone in the house. If anyone is injured or ill, attend to them, use the medical supplies you have available, and call for emergency help as soon as possible if necessary. This should be the first priority.
  2. Carefully inspect the house to see if there has been any structural damage. If there has been, stay away from that part of the house, and stay with a neighbor if possible. If you can’t stay at another residence, be sure to stay in the safest part of the house. Structural damage can be deceptively innocuous. It’s hard to know just how deep the damage goes sometimes.
  3. Check your water pipes to see if any of them have broken, burst, or frozen during the storm. If they have, be sure to turn off the water until it gets fixed.
  4. If things are going relatively well at your house, and most things are in order, it’s a good idea to check up on your neighbors if they are close by. They might be in need of assistance, and just knowing that everyone around you is okay brings peace of mind.
  5. If you see any downed power lines, stay away from them and alert the power company right away. Be extremely cautious; the wires may still be live, and livewires can deliver a fatal shock to children and even adults.
  6. Before using the fireplace, check to see if the chimney has taken any structural damage. If anything is blocked in the chimney, it could back up the smoke and send it all back into the house.
  7. Check around the house for broken windows. Watch out for glass on the floor and surrounding area. Cover up the window as well as you can; temporary solutions include using plywood or taping a blanket over it until it can be replaced.
  8. Try to stay inside as much as you can. However, when you do decide to go outside, make sure you are dressed appropriately. Wear many layers, and don’t underestimate the effect of cold on your body.
  9. Be very careful not to overexert or exhaust yourself when you are working outside in the cold, shovelling snow, cleaning off your roof, or anything else. When your body is tired and cold, it’s very easy for it to shut down, which puts you at risk of hypothermia.
  10. Avoid driving until road conditions have improved. Pay attention to your local news and radio stations for updates on when it’s safe.

Stay warm, safe, and dry! Good luck!