As a physical therapist assistant I meet many members of the community on a daily basis. This week, I was very surprised when hearing how many of our patients were facing power outages. I was just as surprised when speaking to neighbors who were locked on the highway for days. Considering power lines can generally withstand 3/4 of an inch of ice, freezing rain and snow become a serious concern in regards to being able to maintain power and navigate roads safely. In light of the snowstorm we all endured recently, I have put together a quick check list of some important items to keep in your home and car in preparation for the future.

 
Car checklist:

Blanket

Gloves

Flashlight 

Friction activated hand/toe warmers

Phone charging cables

Flares

Ice scraper

Jumper cables

At least a half tank of gas

Road salt for traction or a portable/mini shovel

Snacks

Water in an insulated vessel to avoid freezing


Home checklist:

5 days worth of water 

A week’s worth of food

Animal feed 

Snow maintenance tools (shovels, rock salt, pipe insulation)

Alternate heat source (including fuel for generators or heaters)

Candles (including lighters and matches)

Flashlight (including batteries

)Entertainment (board games, cards, crafts, puzzles)


Other important considerations:

Assure you have sufficient prescription medications or insulin to hold over. If you are older, use assistive devices or wheelchairs, or have an injury, consider pre arranging for a neighbor to help with shoveling walkways and driveways. You may also want to consider having someone help with walking pets if pathway conditions are not optimal.
Remember, avoid being off roads if at all possible when a weather advisory is in place. If you can think of any additional items, please feel free to comment.

Stay safe and warm this winter season!

Written by: Maritza Correa, LPTA

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