If you haven’t heard yet, there is a severe winter storm coming to the Newark area.  At the time of this writing, the storm system is already well underway in the mid-west and the forecast is to hit us here tonight around 8pm.  

“The amount of snow and high winds associated with this storm may bring down trees and power lines,” said John Latka, senior vice president of electric and gas operations for PSE&G.  “We take every storm with the potential for outages seriously, and have additional personnel scheduled and on standby, with auxiliary equipment at the ready.”

Here are a few points to keep in mind to prepare yourself and your home for the coming storm.

For The House

  • Make sure to have rock salt or more environmentally safe products (like calcium chloride) to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.  It’s also a good idea to have sand on-hand to improve traction.
  • Make sure your snow shovels and other snow removal equipment are in good working condition.
  • Be sure to have sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • Do your laundry!  It sucks to be at home without clean clothing and blankets to keep you warm.  Don’t be that guy/girl.

For Your Car

Residents are admonished to stay indoors as much as possible.  However, if you must leave the house, it would be good to check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:

  • Antifreeze levels – ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
  • Battery and ignition system – should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
  • Brakes – check for wear and fluid levels.
  • Exhaust system – check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
  • Fuel and air filters – replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Heater and defroster – ensure they work properly.
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights – check for serviceability.
  • Oil – check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
  • Thermostat – ensure it works properly.
  • Windshield wiper equipment – repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
  • Install good winter tires – Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

For Your Stomach

  • Bottled water 
  • Snack foods
  • Non-perishables & dry goods
  • Pancake/waffle mix (because it’s never a bad time for breakfast)

For a full winter storm preparation list, CLICK HERE.