Insurance industry offers advice for coping with winter storms

insurance industry winter snow ice

The mega-storm that occurred this weekend came as a hard reminder to be prepared for the weather.

The winter storm that walloped the East Coast, last weekend, came as a brutal reminder of the importance of being prepared for dramatic weather at this time of year and the insurance industry is continuing to remind people of the importance of following the right safety tips.

There are ways to give yourself and your family the best possible chance of safely riding out a winter storm.

Aside from stocking up on food, water and supplies to keep warm in case the power goes out, the insurance industry is also reminding people to have some additional types of gadgets on hand in order to be able to keep safe and warm. Among them are items such as flashlights, candles, matches and portable chargers for cell phones. That last item is becoming an increasingly popular recommendation for emergency kits as it allows you to keep your smartphone alive while the power is out, giving you a means to communicate with others and – perhaps more importantly – keep up to date with official advisories and weather forecasts for what else is to come. The key is to make sure it is charged.

The insurance industry has found that adding a portable charger to an emergency is an important step.

insurance industry winter snow iceAside from packing a good emergency kit, other safety precautions that officials are recommending have to do with shoveling snow, reducing the chance of slips and falls on icy walkways and avoiding frostbite.

When shoveling snow, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a strenuous activity and that it can often cause people to become more active than usual or to use muscles that they don’t typically use to that extent. Individuals with a history of high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke should not shovel snow.

For those who must shovel snow, it is important to begin as early as possible. The longer snow remains on the ground, the heavier it becomes. Also, just because it’s cold outside, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need proper hydration. Take breaks to allow yourself to drink water on regular intervals. As much as you can, take your time to shovel your drive and walkway. Shoveling too quickly increases the risk of injury and increases blood pressure.

Regardless of what you’re doing outside, wear footwear with proper gripping soles for traction. Test any slippery looking surfaces with your foot before stepping onto them. Don’t walk with your hands in your pockets as this reduces your balance and if you fall, it will increase your risk of injury.

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