Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Winter Preparedness

Sometimes being organized just makes your life easier, and sometimes it goes as far as saving your life. During this winter of unexpectedly harsh storms, FEMA’s website lists a lot of great information to help you prepare for electricity failure, pipe bursts, and more at. Although it’s rare for Philadelphia area residents to be without heat and electricity for more than a few days, a few days can feel like a long time if you’re not prepared. Here are some useful tips you may not have considered.

Keep your cell phone charged. If you use a cell phone as your main phone, remember to plug it in and keep it charged. If you lose electricity, you don’t want to lose the ability to contact people as well.

Have a list of important phone numbers handy. Many people don’t memorize phone numbers anymore; instead they rely on their cell phone’s contact storage. If your cell phone loses power, you’ll want to have a list of phone numbers for family, friends, your insurance company, the water company, the electric company, etc. that you can call on another phone.

Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car. If you need to leave your house for a warmer house or a shelter, or to check on a relative, it may be difficult to stop for gas. Road conditions may make it hard to pull over, and many gas stations may not be open.

Have "mad money" in the house. Along the same lines as it being difficult to stop for gas, it may be difficult to stop at a bank or even at an ATM during a storm. You may need to pay people to help you dig out.

Stock up on the real essentials. Many people run out to buy milk and bread before the storm. Remember to concentrate on the items you could not live without during a few days stuck inside. These include medicines, water, and supplies for pets and babies. Find more at

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