How to Survive an Ice Storm

Posted January 11, 2017 by

With an ice storm quickly approaching, time is of the essence to begin preparing for the possibility of power outages, falling tree limbs, swinging power lines, and dangerous amounts of ice. Like any storm, an ice storm can bring with it varying levels of danger, but it is important to be prepared for anything.

Prepare for the Worst

The first step to preparing for an ice storm is making sure you are properly equipped with a few crucial items. These items include:

  • Enough food and water to last throughout the storm
  • Batteries, flashlights, and candles
  • First-aid kit
  • Self-powered radio
  • Generator fuel (if applicable)
  • Warm clothes and blankets


Once you have the necessary items listed above, consider taking some of the following actions to prepare for the coming ice storm:

  • Trim tree branches in your yard that are hanging above vehicles or other valuables. Ice has a tendency to weigh down branches and snap them off, causing unnecessary damage to vehicles, homes, and people.
  • Charge electronics if possible.
  • Place flashlights and batteries in easy-to-find and convenient locations to avoid having to search through the darkness during a power outage.
  • Learn how to prepare and safely operate your generator if you do not already know how to do so. Don’t wait until an emergency to learn how to use your equipment!
  • Consider salting areas around your house such as your sidewalk, patio, and driveway.

During the Storm

After you’ve prepared and the storm hits, it’s time to hunker down and stay warm.

  • Stay inside and do not travel unless absolutely necessary. If there is an emergency, contact your local emergency services by dialing 911. Travel is often banned during serious storms and could be considered a criminal action that endangers yourself and others.
  • Keep all family members in a central location in the house to increase the amount of shared heat.
  • Close doors and windows to keep as much heat inside as possible.
  • If you see any downed power lines or tree limbs that can be dangerous, report them to your local authorities and electrical provider.
  • Keep refrigerators closed as much as possible to preserve the food inside.
  • Rely on clothing and blankets to stay warm but have an alternative/backup heat source if possible.
  • Use your generator safely if you already know how it works. Maintain proper ventilation and always be aware of fumes and exhaust to avoid carbon monoxide.
  • Stay updated on the weather using a television, cellphone, or self-powered radio.

Quick Storm Tips

  • Unplug devices that aren’t being used to prevent power surge problems.
  • Conserve power of your portable devices by only using them when necessary.
  • Don’t wander around in the dark or outside during the storm to avoid injury.
  • Contact loved ones to ensure they are safe if you have access to communications.

If you find a bad ice storm heading your way, don’t panic. Follow these tips and you’ll be safe and sound. Remember that after an ice storm ends, there is often dangerous debris and ice leftover. Stay aware!

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