If a winter storm hits your hometown, follow these safety tips:
- Minimize travel. If you have to go out, cover your mouth with a scarf or ski mask to protect your lungs. Cover your head with a hat or scarf to prevent heat loss.
- Minimize cold drafts and conserve energy in your house by stuffing cracks around doors and windows with rugs, newspapers or towels.
- Stay inside and wear loose fitting, layered and lightweight clothing.
- Stay off the roads. But if you have to travel during a winter storm or severe weather, let a family member or friend know your destination, travel route and estimated time of arrival.
- Use your headlights when your windshield wipers are running.
- Gently lift your wipers off the windshield if they are frozen instead of relying on the wiper motor. This practice will prevent your wipers from freezing to the glass and increase your wiper motor’s life span.
- Apply firm consistent pressure to activate ABS brakes. Do not pump ABS brakes in icy weather.
- Take frequent breaks when you’re shoveling to help avoid overexertion. If possible, push the snow instead of lifting it.
- Assist elderly neighbors and people with special needs. Offer to remove the snow from their driveway, fetch necessities or invite them into your home to wait out the storm.
If you’re stranded in your car during a winter storm, you should:
- Stay in the car.
- Tie a piece of bright colored clothing to the antenna.
- Leave an interior light on when the engine is running so people can see you inside.
- Move your limbs around to ensure proper blood circulation. This will also help you stay warm.
- Run the car’s engine 10 minutes out of every hour.
- Keep one window slightly ajar to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow to prevent carbon monoxide from entering your car.
- Although you may think snow will help you survive, eating it will only make you colder. Instead, use a match or candle and melt it into a drinking container.
If you need to file a claim, contact your ERIE Agent or nearest field office as soon as possible. On nights and weekends, contact ERIE’s Extended Hours Claims Service at (800) 367-3743.
For more information, refer to what to do after a winter storm