SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – I’m not usually one to get too into the pre-storm hype, but as long as we’re in this calm before the storm, I thought I’d share just a couple more quick safety tips, and miscellaneous thoughts in the few hours before this alleged blizzard bears down on us all.
First and foremost, I’d recommend that everyone go out in the morning and fill their cars up with gas. There are already scattered reports of local gas stations running out, and having a full tank could be an important key. While you’re at it, I always recommend that you puck up a section of clear plastic hose from Home Depot in case you find yourself needing to transfer gas between cars, or from a gar to a generator, in the event of an emergency.
Next, over the last few years, many people in Shrewsbury either built houses with, or upgraded to, the new high efficiency heating systems which exhaust their waste not through the chimney, but through a white plastic pipe that exists through the wall of the home as shown in the photo up above. Each year, during heavy snows, people tragically perish from carbon monoxide poisoning when drifts of snow pile up and block those outside vents. This weekend, before you worry about shoveling the walkway, or clearing out your car, please take a few minutes to make sure these exhaust vents are clear from any snow drifts, and that they stay clear in the coming days.
Next, if you have roof heating cables, turn them on as soon as the snow gets going. It’s so much easier to keep snow melting than to turn it on later and try to melt feet of snow at once. That’s an ice dam just waiting to happen.
Speaking of ice dams, is there anyone who doesn’t already own a roof rake? If so, get out and buy one tomorrow, before they’re all gone, if it’s not already too late. If you can’t find one, try to find a neighbor that can loan you one after they are done with it. The weight of this amount of snow can be very dangerous on your roof, and you need to get it off as soon as you can.
While you’re out and about shopping tomorrow, pick up batteries and flashlights, in the event of long term power outages. Also, if you can find them, grab some of the 72 hour candles. They come in little tins and can actually be used to cook with if you get really desperate.
I’m sure I’ll think of a few more things later on, and when i do, I’ll keep adding to the article. In the meantime, a few years ago, before one of the other big storms, I put together a list of 30 emergency tips that you may find helpful Here’s a link to that article. http://shrewsbury.net/?p=1738