Trucks fitted with snowplows wait in a lot on March 5, 2013 in Washington. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
When serious snow hits, there's more to preparation than just stocking up on milk. A few simple precautionary steps can keep you and your house safe in the snow, says News4 consumer reporter Liz Crenshaw.
Outside your home, disconnect any hoses from outside spigots if you haven't already done so. If you still have time, clear gutters and outside drains of debris so that melted snow can travel down the drains. You want to keep water from the melting snow from backing up into your basement.
If the power goes out, turn off any electric appliances you were using to help prevent a power surge when the power comes back. That includes the stove, your TV and computer. Just leave one electric light on, and don't touch your refrigerator. When you see that light come back on, then one by one you can turn on your appliances.
During any power outage, keep plenty of flashlights on hand and make sure to have extra batteries to keep them running. Fire officials say flashlights are a safer choice than candles. If you must use candles, don't leave them burning unattended. And keep them away from curtains, clothing and books.
Make sure your smoke detector has fresh batteries. That way, it will go off even if you don’t have power. Fire officials warn if you use a kerosene heater, make sure to fill it outside your home. And don't try to fill it while it's actually burning or hot.
If you have a generator, run it outside, away from your home, garage and windows. Carbon monoxide is a major concern with generators.
And if you haven't already, pack two emergency kits -- one for your home and one for your car. Don't forget to include flashlights, battery powered radios, extra batteries, water and snack foods that don't need to be refrigerated.