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How to Ride Out a Winter Storm at Home

Leaving your house during a winter storm can be dangerous, but so can staying at home unless you take the proper precautions.


  • Step 1: Be prepared Be prepared before the winter storm hits. Keep your chimney, furnace, and vents clean and well maintained so you can use them when you really need them.
  • Step 2: Bring pets inside Bring your pets inside during the storm if they are usually outdoor pets.
  • Step 3: Run the water Run your faucets at a trickle to keep the pipes from freezing and bursting. Make sure you know where the main water shut-off valve is so you can stop the flow if the pipes do burst.
  • Step 4: Wear the right clothes Wear several layers of clothing that can be taken off or put on according to what is comfortable. Cover your head with a hat and your hands with mittens.
  • TIP: Keep plenty of blankets around to keep your temperature regulated.
  • Step 5: Eat and drink Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water to stay healthy as your ride out the storm.
  • Step 6: Conserve fuel Conserve fuel by lowering the temperature in your house to between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit during the storm.
  • TIP: Use a kerosene heater for an alternate source of heat.
  • Step 7: Share the warmth Respond if your heating system malfunctions by closing the doors to any unused rooms. Draw your shades or seal plastic over your windows, and have everyone in the house use only a couple of rooms to share the warmth.
  • FACT: Mount Baker, Washington, set a world snowfall record in the 1998-1999 snowfall season, when the area received 1,140 inches of snow, breaking the previous record of 1,122 inches.

You Will Need

  • Preparation
  • Open faucets
  • Layered clothing
  • Hat
  • Mittens
  • Healthy foods
  • Water
  • Closed doors and shades
  • Plastic
  • Restricted room usage
  • Kerosene heater (optional)

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