Residents in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas are once again bracing for a major winter storm. In addition to the snow, record-shattering cold will spill into Texas and portions of the South over the next few days. A winter storm is likely to bury parts of the South with significant snow and some ice before moving into the snow-fatigued Midwest and East.
In Texas, at least six people were killed and 65 others hospitalized in a massive chain-reaction crash that involved more than 100 vehicles on an icy Fort Worth interstate. “Subzero lows could occur as far south as parts of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. Oklahoma City could plunge below zero for the first time in over four years and only the third time this century,” said Weather.com meteorologist Jonathan Erdman.
Major winter storms can cause huge disruptions to the infrastructure and you may find yourself hunkering down at home. A combination of blowing snow, gusty winds and bitterly cold temperatures could create conditions that will make it dangerous to be outside and to drive on.
Use these following tips to help you prepare for a winter storm and survival in an urban environment.
Clean Water is a Necessity
In any kind of emergency, water is a priority. However, in a city, there is a big possibility the public water will be shut off or fail and bottled water will fly off the shelves. Extreme cold temperatures might freeze your water pipes. Having access to clean water is essential for hydration and sanitation. Here are some suggestions for urban prepping H2O.
- Store clean bottled drinking water at home.
- Source water from undamaged water heaters or toilet tanks or by melting ice cubes.
- Fill bottles, pitchers, and your bathtub up with water. Purify it using germicidal tablets.
Secure Your Food Supply
Choose emergency food wisely. Not only might you be unable to get out to the grocery store, we learned in the coronavirus scare that shelves might be stripped bare. Rather than stocking up on a bunch of space-consuming canned nonperishable foods, opt for dry food that takes up less space and lasts longer.
Tens of thousands of families all over America have been enjoying these amazing and convenient meals from Legacy Foods.
Some protein or energy bars would also be suggested.
If You Lose Power
When a city loses power, it is a scary situation. Prepare in advance for power outages by stocking up on batteries, flashlights, and lanterns. Generally, it is wise to invest in a generator. However, generators may not be practical in urban settings and are not safe for indoor use.
Your safety becomes a major concern during emergencies in urban settings. During blackouts, crime rises. Therefore, it is necessary to have the tools to protect yourself and your loved ones if the danger outdoors moves closer to home.
- Store defensive items, such as pepper spray, gun and ammo, or knife.
- Invest in communication tools, such as an emergency hand-crank radio to stay informed.
- Keep your phone charged or buy a power bank for your cell phone to call for emergency assistance.
- Keep a stocked first aid kit.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
If you Must Get Out
It’s highly suggested that you not venture out during a snow storm except for necessary trips. By staying in, you protect yourself against frostbite, getting stuck in a snow drift, slips and falls, and cold weather-related auto failures.
But if you must be out, be sure to have a winter storm kit in your car.