what to do after a blizzard

What to do after a blizzard? When meteorologists predict a blizzard for your region, local news sources will likely notify you as quickly as possible.

This is because blizzards may be very deadly and have long-term consequences. 

If you’re expecting a winter storm, here’s everything you need to know about blizzard safety and how to prepare.

You may begin digging out and cleaning up after a blizzard. Start early on snow removal, clean the roof, inspect the trees, and check the functionality of your fire and CO2 alarms.

How Does a Snowstorm Become a Blizzard?

Snowstorm is a wide phrase that may refer to any storm that produces snow. Snowstorms vary in ferocity.

When you think of the strongest, you typically think of a snowstorm. 

how snowstorm becomes blizzard

Blizzards are winter storms with winds of at least 35 mph and blowing snow that lowers visibility to less than a quarter-mile.

These circumstances must exist for at least three hours to be classified as a blizzard.

A fascinating fact about blizzards is that snow does not have to fall from the sky for the storm to be classified as a blizzard. 

After a snowstorm, powerful winds may sweep up previously fallen snow and cause whiteouts as the snow flies throughout the region.

Wind may also cause snowdrifts or large heaps of snow, which reduce visibility even more.

What Are the Risks of a Blizzard?

blizzard risks

Blizzards may last anywhere from a few hours to a few days and can cause various problems for individuals and communities.

Heavy snow may induce whiteouts and reduce vision, making travel difficult or impossible. 

Cold temperatures are significantly colder by strong winds and the wind chill effect.

This restricts the length of time you may spend outdoors before experiencing health hazards such as hypothermia and frostbite.

Other blizzard hazards include:

  • Roofs falling under the weight of snow
  • Outages of power
  • Low visibility causes car accidents
  • Snow shoveling exercise causes heart attacks
  • Home carbon monoxide occurrences
  • Death by freezing

What To Do Before, During, and After a Blizzard?

what to do blizzard

Due to the above-mentioned dangers posed by blizzards, learning how to prepare for a blizzard may help you and your family stay safe before, during, and after the storm.

Stock Up On Necessities

Ensure you have at least a three-day supply of pet supplies, water, first aid materials, batteries, flashlights, canned heat, heating fuel, and candles.

Also, keep any prescriptions you may need in case you get trapped in your house due to severe snow, ice, or fallen trees. 

You should also have rock salt on hand to melt ice on pathways, plenty of warm clothes and blankets, and a snow shovel to clear snow from around your car if required.

stock necessities
Tip: If you don't already have one, consider obtaining a battery-powered NOAA weather radio to keep up with changing weather conditions.

Some emergency meals to have on hand include:

  • Granola bars and instant oatmeal
  • Crackers
  • Soup, vegetables, fruit, chili, and tuna are examples of canned products.
  • Instant coffee and hot chocolate
  • Cups of applesauce, fruit, and pudding
  • Juices in a box
  • Cereal
  • Shelf-stable milk

Prepare Your Vehicle for Dangerous Winter Conditions

Get a winter tune-up for your automobile, pack an emergency kit, and learn how to react if your vehicle starts to slide or if you get snowbound on the road.

Maintain a full gas tank if a snowfall causes traffic to be slower than normal, and drive carefully.

Make Your House Storm-Proof

storm proof house

You may make your home more resistant to storms by:

  • Wrap doors and windows with weatherstripping.
  • Seal any air holes.
  • Wrap your pipes with insulation.
  • Clean out your rain gutters.
  • Get your heating equipment or chimney examined 
  • Trim any tree limbs that might fall into your property during heavy snow or severe winds.

Cover windows with plastic sheeting to keep cold air out and seal off any superfluous areas to concentrate heat if the electricity goes out.

Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and have a fire extinguisher on hand at all times. 

In the event of frozen pipes, you should take away any protective coverings, open all water sources, and gradually pour boiling water over the pipes, starting with the ones that are most vulnerable to the cold.

Note: Because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, never use a generator, grill, gas or oil-powered heater, or camp stove inside or in partly enclosed locations.
inspect your yard

Get Your Yard Ready

Before the blizzards, stroll around your yard and search for any tree limbs that might fall on your house.

If you can prune things back to prevent them from causing damage to your property during the storm or get an expert to do it for you.

If any tree branches are near power lines, you should contact a professional or the utility to have them trimmed or cut back to reduce the danger of a power outage.

If you haven’t already, mulch your gardens to keep plants from freezing.

Seal Your Windows and Doors

Drafty windows and doors let cold air in and warm air out.

That’s why you should seal any windows with an insulating kit, which you can get at any hardware shop. 

seal windows and doors
Note: Weatherstripping may also be purchased at the shop to help seal your front door. You may also get insulated blinds to assist keep the warm air inside.

Get Ready For A Power Outage

If the blizzard knocks out the electricity, you’ll want to have your phones charged and a backup source of power on hand.

Keep flashlights or battery-operated lights strategically placed about the home so you won’t have to fumble around in the dark trying to find them. 

You should consider purchasing a portable generator or a home standby unit if you reside in a region prone to regular power outages.

Please make sure you have gas or propane for your portable generator. 

Note: Before the blizzard hits so that you can turn it on when you need it and keep it going as long as you need. 

Be cautious to keep portable models away from windows and never use them indoors or in a basement, garage, or other enclosed location.

What To Do During A Blizzard

do during blizzard

Stay indoors and limit travel to emergencies only. Wear warm, loose-fitting clothing, including waterproof boots, mittens, and caps, if you must go outside.

If you must shovel snow, avoid overexertion and keep an eye out for frostbite and hypothermia, such as loss of sensation in the shaking, extremities, slurred speech, and disorientation.

Note: If you must go outside, dress in several thin layers rather than just one bulky layer. 

Cover exposed skin with mittens, hats, and scarves, mainly if they are waterproof. Keep an eye out for indications of frostbite and hypothermia while you’re outdoors.

Be Careful When Using Space Heaters and Backup Generators 

While you’re at home, be sure you heat and ignite it carefully.

To prevent fire danger, read all directions for space heaters and backup generators and keep them safe from goods like curtains and blankets.

keep warm blankets

It should be noted that certain gas-powered heaters may need ventilation.

Keep Your House Warm and Have Extra Blankets

Babies and the elderly may need special attention during a snowstorm due to the intense cold.

This is because they lose body heat much faster than the average adult and are, therefore, more vulnerable to weather-related hazards.

Maintain a comfortable temperature in your home and keep extra blankets on hand.

What To Do After a Blizzard Hits

after blizzard hits

After a large storm, the first thing you’ll likely want to do is assess the damage and replace supplies.

These are appropriate actions after a blizzard if you also take the essential preparations.

Here are a few other things you should do after a blizzard:

Assess the Interior of Your House

Cracked or leaky ceilings may indicate that your roof has been damaged.

Water flow issues might indicate frozen pipes. Inspect the inside of your house to ensure everything is functioning.

If you suspect frozen pipes, turn off the water supply and contact a plumber.

Examine Your Detectors

examine detectors

What to do after a blizzard? Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

This is particularly critical if your electricity has been off due to cold weather. 

Note: There are potential health and safety concerns associated with using generators, wood, gas, or other heat sources to warm a home. 

Also, using candles and flames increases fire danger during and after power outages.

Inspect the Plumbing

Examine the plumbing for damaged pipes and other problems.

Severe cold weather damages plumbing and can result in bursts or cracked pipes.

inspect plumbing

While running water, inspect the interior areas to ensure nothing leaks. When it’s safe to do so, go outside and uncover any external pipes.

If you detect any problems, turn off the water and call an expert to assist you in resolving the situation.

Asses the Roof for Damage

Check your roof safely. Take a walk around your home to inspect your roof.

Heavy snowfall and high winds may damage roofs during blizzards, causing leaks and collapses. 

Note: In slippery or treacherous weather, avoid going up on your roof.

Once you can, cover the places that are generating leaks with a tarp while you wait for specialists to remedy the problem.

Check the Exterior for Any Other Damage

Look for downed trees that may have caused damage to your property, broken windows, or other problems.

check damage outside

In rare cases, you may need assistance removing the trees or repairing the damage. 

However, since these services may be delayed due to increasing demand, do what you can on your own.

If the window is damaged, you might try covering it with plywood to keep the cold winter air and dampness out.

Also, check your vehicles for dings and scratches.

Pay Attention to Local News

Watch television, listen to the radio, and use social media to learn about relevant events in your neighborhood.

Trees and fallen electricity lines may be reported, as well as blocked highways, businesses, and schools.

Contact Your Insurance Provider

home insurance

As soon as you suspect there is damage to your house or car, contact your insurance provider to file a claim and learn how to proceed.

You’re probably not the only one having problems, so get in line as soon as possible.

Final Verdict

What to do after a blizzard? You may begin digging out and cleaning up after a blizzard.

Start early on snow removal, clean the roof, inspect the trees, and check the functionality of your fire and CO2 alarms. 

Since It’s important to ensure your house’s interior is safe.

Knowing how to prepare for a blizzard may help you and your family remain safe before, during, and after a blizzard, which is essential because of the risks associated with such blizzards, as stated above.

Thanks for reading!

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