Winter storms and blizzards are a regular part of life in the Northeast, and while some may be more troublesome than others, they can still be dangerous for even the most prepared home and road warriors. Blizzards can cause everything from power outages and travel disruptions to canceled flights and frozen pipes. And the sub-zero temperatures that accompany many blizzards can lead to frostbite and hypothermia for those outside.
The good news is that you can take steps to prepare your home and family for the most severe winter conditions, says the National Weather Service. For instance, you should stock your home with enough food and bottled water for at least four days. That includes a supply of non-perishable items, such as canned soups and fruits, peanut butter, cereals, dried fruit and grains, instant coffee, tea, hot chocolate and granola bars, as well as medications and pet food for your pets.
In addition, be sure to check local news for blizzard alerts and reports. You can also download the free Red Cross Emergency app, available for Android and iOS devices, to get real-time alerts for a specific location, so you'll know about any local warnings or evacuations.
And if you're planning to head out of town for a ski vacation, the NWS suggests that you begin checking road and weather conditions at least a week in advance of your trip. That way, you'll have time to make adjustments if needed. The organization also advises travelers to carry a map or GPS device with them and to plan routes with low traffic and frequent rest stops, especially on high mountain passes.