Preparing for an Ice Storm

Winter just keeps on pounding Hagerstown, and as Winter Storm Olympia makes its way into the area between now and Tuesday evening, residents should expect to see more snow followed by a layer of ice.

Here are a few helpful tips for preparing for and staying safe during an ice storm.

How to Prepare for an Ice StormPrepare for Ice Storm

Rain and temperatures hovering around the freezing point are the perfect ingredients for an ice storm. While branches covered in ice are beautiful, heavy ice accumulation can down utility wires,
causing electric and communication outages.

Before an ice storm strikes, do the following things:

  • Make sure you have a battery-powered radio, flashlights and extra batteries.
  • Locate extra blankets.
  • Stock up on bottled water, and fill spare containers with water for washing.
  • Leave your faucets turned on at a drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep a supply of non-perishable food and a can opener.
  • Make sure you have necessities like medications, diapers, etc.
  • If you have a standby generator, make sure it’s fueled up and ready to go.
  • Keep your cell phone charged, and pick up a car charger if you don’t have one.
  • Fill up your car with gas.
  • Have cash on hand.

What to Do During an Ice Storm

The biggest concerns during ice storms are power outages and dangerous driving conditions. Here are some steps you can take to keep yourself and your family safe if the power goes out:

  • Close off unneeded rooms.
  • Turn off lights and appliances to prevent damage when the power is restored. Leave only one lamp or switch on.
  • Dress warmly.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
  • Use alternate heating sources safely.
  • Stay home. During a power outage, traffic signals may not work. Combined with icy conditions, non-functional traffic signals could lead to major accidents.