I think we can all agree that so far this season, winter has been brutal in Ohio and across the rest of the country. Not only has it been frigidly cold, but we have also encountered inches of ice and snow, making travel dangerous and closing schools statewide.
The heart of winter has just begun for us, and it’s critical to prepare for conditions and stay safe and warm. We all know how unpredictable the weather can be in Ohio, and winter might just stick around until after March!
With that in mind, it’s of the utmost importance to be winter ready, especially in your own home.
When a winter storm hits, winds can cause power outages, so it’s a good idea to invest in a generator or an alternative heat source. It can take time to get the power back on, so having a backup plan will keep your food cold and your family warm in the meantime.
Below-freezing temperatures for multiple days in a row can also cause frozen pipes, especially in older homes. Keeping your thermostat set to the same temperature all day and even letting cold water drip from your faucets can prevent your pipes from freezing.
I also encourage you to keep a supply and first aid kit in the home. If you get snowed in for a couple days, a disaster kit will have food, bottled water, batteries, extra blankets, and more to get your family by until it’s safe to get out to the grocery store or until help comes.
Additionally, shoveling can be treacherous, especially when there is black ice under the snow. I’ve heard countless stories of people falling and hurting themselves when shoveling. If you decide to brave the conditions and clear your driveway or sidewalk, be sure to wear sturdy shoes and take it slow.
It’s even better if you have someone to help or monitor your progress in case you have an issue.
Finally, driving conditions during the winter is a top concern for many people.
To prevent trouble from happening before you even hit the road, it’s a good idea to be as proactive as possible by winterizing your vehicle. Some tips include getting a check-up, maintaining your tire pressure, filling your washer fluid, and packing a safety kit to keep in the car in cases of emergency. In our region of the state, driving can be especially hazardous.
Miles of country roads through the flatlands of Ohio can take time to clear, and the snow often drifts over the roadways, making them difficult for the average vehicle to navigate.
As always, take it slow and keep a safe distance between cars. Pay attention to your local news to ensure the roadways aren’t under a snow emergency before leaving.
These are just a few tips to help keep you and your family safe until spring comes around.
It can be easy to forget to keep up regular maintenance or to rush out of the house to get to work, but you can play an active role in the safety of your home and community by implementing these suggestions in your everyday life.
More information about severe weather preparation can be found at www.weathersafety.ohio.gov.
Stay warm, Ohio!
Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) represents the 91st District, which includes Clinton County.