Until you have had to live through a winter storm, it’s impossible to understand just how frightening and eye-opening it really can be. What might seem to you like a little rain on the TV is gusts of 50 MPH winds and hail the size of golf balls. If you live in a state that has relatively minor winters, suffering one unexpectedly gives you a feeling that hell has finally frozen over.
Think about California for moment. The Golden State has been suffering a drought for the last six years. This year’s winter storms (and its only February!) have pounded the state, filling California’s reservoirs at capacity. Officials are issuing flood warnings and evacuations, and freeways are gridlocked.
A storm can keep you trapped right where you are for days at a time. There’s not just the going stir crazy either, there’s the damage a winter storm can inflict on your home. To prepare yourself and your home for a winter storm, make sure you have the essentials; that might include looking for a new homeowners policy that offers better homeowners insurance rates.
Things You’ll Need: The Checklist
Doesn’t it seem that when the weather forecaster announces rain, there’s sunshine? It can feel like that no matter what you prepare for, it’s always wrong. While it might feel that way, it’s still in your best interest to prepare. As thousands of drenched Californians will attest, preparing for brutal rain storms will serve you well in the long run.
Emergency Kit: The emergency kit should include bandages, anti-bacterial ointment, latex gloves, tweezers, a cold pack, medicinal pain relievers, gauze, sanitizer and wipes.
Water:Homeland Security recommends having 1 gallon of water per person per day. If the severity of the winter storm is going to keep you indoors for three days and you have a family of four, you will need 12 gallons of water.
Flashlight: Power outages are par for the course during a winter storm, and going without electricity for a few days can be maddening. You’ll want your flashlight to be able to be powered on for hours at a time and able to withstand being dropped. Compare flashlights on Consumer Reports and by reading product reviews.
Radio: To stay updated on storm warnings and evacuation orders you’ll need a working transportable radio. Make sure the radio you have has a “NOAA NWR All Hazards” or “Public Alert” logo. These radios are built to “specific technical standards,” notes Lifehacker correspondent Alan Henry and will serve you well in an emergency situation.
Batteries: What good is a flashlight or radio without batteries? Make sure you have batteries for your flashlight, radio and portable electronic chargers. Remember, you won’t be able to use your outlets to charge things if there’s no electricity!
Medication(s): If a storm is coming make sure all of your prescriptions are filled. If you require medication for a particular ailment and are unable to get pick up the prescription because of severe weather conditions, you will be putting yourself in more danger. Make sure you have your prescriptions and other medications ready to go before the storm hits.
Above all, make sure your homeowners insurance will cover you if your home suffers damage by the impact of the storm. To find a policy that will protect your home visit CoverHound!
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Insurance shopping simplified