Winter storms and cold temperatures can be hazardous, but if you plan ahead, you can stay safe and healthy. Prepare your home and cars. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. Check on the older adults.
Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us are not ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.
Take these steps for your home
Many people prefer to remain indoors in the winter, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.
Winterize your house:
- Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
- Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
- Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
Check your heating system:
- Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly and ventilated to the outside.
- Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
- Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly.
- Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
- Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries regularly.
- Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headaches, nausea, and disorientation.
Don’t forget to prepare your car
Get your car ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.
- Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level; check tire tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.
- Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
- Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
- Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. Include:
- food and water;
- booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction);
- compass and maps;
- flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
- first-aid kit; and
- plastic bags (for sanitation).
Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages. Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers. Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged. When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.
Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:
Battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and lamps;
first-aid kit and extra medicine;
baby items; and
cat litter or sand for icy walkways.
LOCK BOX Requirements
The Town of Harwich requires any home or business owner to install a lockbox on any property that has an alarm system that is monitored remotely. This includes medical alert buttons and fire alrm systems. These lockboxes are a safe and secure way to provide the Fire Department a key to the property in case of alarm activation. These lockboxes are opened by a special key that ONLY the fire department carries. These lockboxes are different than the ones distributed by the Harwich Water Department. Contact the HFD for more information at (508) 430-7546.
Click here to download the NEW 2013 Lock Box Form