6 Ways to Prepare for an Ice Storm November 24, 2020 Snow and ice can be a pretty sight in small doses, but Oklahoma is no stranger to heavy ice storms. You can help ensure minimal impacts to your property by following these six ways to prepare for an ice storm. Check out these tips: 1. Prepare an Emergency Home Kit Severe ice storms can cause road closures as well as city-wide power outages, thus leaving you situated in your home for a potential long period of time. It could be helpful to have an emergency home kit with the necessities that could include things like: Flashlights and batteries Candles Canned goods and no-cook foods/snacks Bottled water Medication and first aid kit Blankets Warm winter clothing and accessories Emergency radio 2. Have Tools on Standby Too much ice or snow could trap you inside your home, so having a crowbar, axe, chiseling tool or shovel could aid in making a path to escape. Additionally, having tools nearby could be helpful for making any quick repairs. For instance, closing a small hole to stop the cold from filling your home. Remember to stay warm or find shelter if the damages are dangerous. 3. Check on Pipes & Gutters As fall winds down and winter begins, take time to clear out rain gutters, repair roof leaks, and check the roof to make sure it can handle the extra weight of snow and ice. You’ll also need to insulate water pipes or faucets with winter covers on the exterior of the home. Allowing faucets to drip or trickle during cold weather or if the power/heat are out can also help avoid freezing pipes. When water freezes, it expands, and this can cause water pipes to burst. Know how and where to shut off water valves if a pipe bursts. 4. Watch Out for Trees Trees lose limbs and leaves annually, and they also grow wider and bigger annually. Thus it is important to inspect trees before winter and to remove any branches that could fall on a house, powerline, car or other structure. After the storm, it’s also important to be careful around trees. Ice can accumulate and cause limbs to snap and fall down. For your safety, watch out for trees when walking around the property or shoveling ice out of the driveway. 5. Be Mindful About Carbon Monoxide Carbon monoxide poisoning is dangerous and there can be a heightened possibility for it after an ice storm. You’ll need to check and clear out the areas where your furnace and other vents are located, in case ice or snow start to block the vents. If the power does go out, remember to turn off anything that runs on gas or propane. To receive an early warning if carbon monoxide does become present, install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors in the home. 6. Save Water, Then More Water One way to save water is by filling bathtubs, sinks and kitchen pots with water before the power goes out. Water is necessary for staying hydrated, and it can also help you operate your home in many other ways. It could give a toilet enough pressure to flush and even for hygienic purposes such as brushing your teeth and cleaning. As you take steps to prepare your home for an ice storm this winter, remember to contact your OKFB Insurance agent and review your Home Insurance policy. Insurance claims are an important part of recovering from storm damage. Review your homeowners, renters, or business insurance policies to ensure you have appropriate coverage for your property and personal belongings. Photograph and inventory your property to assist with post-disaster claims.