Winter Weather – were you prepared?

We had a heck of a winter storm these past few days!  While the Pacific Northwest gets plenty of wind and rain, many are not prepared for snow and ice like we experienced this past weekend.  Storms can hit suddenly without warning, so it is important to always be prepared for extreme weather conditions.  Here are a few ways to stay safe during a winter storm:

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Stay informed – The storm we recently experienced was reported on the news; make sure you are checking in with news and weather sources to stay up to date on how the weather may impact your area.  Such sources will have updates on school and road closures as well.  Make sure you have access to these outlets if your power should go out by having an emergency radio and charging phones and tablets. 

Supply kit – Make sure your emergency supply kit is well stocked should you be unable to leave your home. For a detailed outline of what your emergency kit should contain, check out our previous blog here.

Freeze prevention – Frozen pipes can potentially be a costly damage to your home should they burst.  It is a very common incident we encounter here at Kennedy Restoration, especially when temperatures begin to rise after a freeze.  Protect your pipes from freezing with these tips.

Driving – Whenever possible, do not drive in the ice or snow.  While you may be an expert driver, others on the road are not and even the best of drivers can get into serious accidents due to icy road conditions.  However, if you must leave be sure to follow these safe driving tips in the ice.  Add a few items to your emergency kit to make sure you can leave the home, including sand, kitty litter, snow shovels.  Make sure your tires are equipped for the weather and your vehicle is capable of the excursion. 

Loss of power – As we experienced here in Portland, power outages are common with the onset of snow and ice.  Frozen moisture on tree limbs weigh them down, causing them to crack and fall on power lines.  Be prepared for such outages and potential loss of heat! 

So, how did you do?  Do you feel that you were adequately prepared for the weather over the weekend, or do you have some adjustments to make to your preparedness techniques?  As always, if you experienced any damages to your home or property, Kennedy Restoration is here to help! 

Icy Driving!

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The coldest weather of the fall is set to arrive this week!  Temperatures were in the 30s last night and snow is falling in the Cascades.  Freezing fog and icy roads can lead to some pretty treacherous driving conditions; here are some tips to keep you safe out there!

When possible, simply don’t drive!  If a trip can wait until later in the morning when the roads have warmed up, postpone the errand.

If you are unfamiliar with driving in snowy or icy conditions it is best to practice your skills in an open, space clear of other drivers and pedestrians; such as a vacant parking lot.  Here, you can learn how brakes, steering and other functions perform differently when road conditions change.

Visibility is always crucial while driving.  Make sure your wiper blades are functional and your wiper fluid is full.  Use an ice scraper (not your blades) to clear your windshield before heading out on the road.  Also clear your headlights of ice and snow and make sure they are on so that others can see you on the road.

Check your tires!  Make sure you have on all weather or snow tires in the fall and winter months.  Don’t wait for the snow and ice to come around first!  Check the tread on the tires as well to access if they are too worn down for treacherous driving.

Know where to expect black ice.  Black ice occurs most commonly in the morning, where traffic is light, in shady areas and on bridges.  Should you hit black ice, do not quickly brake or swerve as this can cause you to lose control of the vehicle.

Drive slower than you would normally and be aware of your surroundings.  Other drivers may be inexperienced or reckless; be on alert for potential accidents.  Leave adequate space between your vehicle and the driver in front of you to allow time to react.

Always check your route before you leave, especially if you are traveling more than a few miles.  Conditions may change based upon elevation and temperature, be prepared for anything!

Stay safe out there!