Planning for Severe Winter Weather at Work and Home

preparing for winter weatherIt’s been an unseasonably mild winter so far—at least, in northern Illinois—but considering our ongoing trend of wacky weather, The Big One could be right around the corner. Extreme winter weather causes damage to structures, hypothermia, frostbite and worse in a matter of minutes. Are you prepared to weather the storm should frigid temperatures, heavy snowfall or blizzard conditions strand you at home or work for a few days? The first step to being prepared for a sever winter storm is to familiarize yourself with the different warnings issued by the National Weather Service:
  • Winter Weather Advisory – Conditions are right for snow or ice. Motorists are especially advised to take extra caution.
  • Winter Storm Watch – Severe conditions are possible within the next day or two. Be prepared.
  • Winter Storm Warning – Severe conditions are about to begin, or have already begun. Take shelter.
  • Blizzard Warning – Snow and strong wind will team up to produce blinding snow, deep drifts and dangerous wind chills. Be safe.
  • Frost/Freeze Warning—Extremely cold temps may cause damage to crops and plants. Homes or businesses without heat need to take extra precautions.
Of course, life goes on even when the threat of severe weather looms. So as you go about your daily business, common sense dictates keeping an eye on what’s going on outside while keeping an ear tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or the local news. And please, limit your travels as much as possible. Being properly prepared at home or in the workplace also means planning ahead for the possibility that you may have to hole up for a day or more. Winter storms have the capability to knock out power, heat and communications—everyday conveniences that suddenly become critical once they’re gone. Heat, in particular, is worrisome as your body’s core temperature can drop rapidly. At first sign that the heat is no longer working, close off other rooms and confine yourself to a small space. If possible, use alternative warming sources like fireplaces, wood stoves or kerosene heaters while always taking safety and ventilation into consideration. Huddle together with others and be sure to stay nourished (and hydrated) so that your body can produce its own heat. By now, you surely have an emergency preparedness kit at home, in your car and at the office…correct? If not, please put some kits together ASAP. Our free Emergency Preparedness Checklist can help you to get started. The standard, year-round emergency kit includes a supply of nonperishable food and water; add the following items in preparation for severe winter weather:
  • Blankets and warm clothing including hats, boots and mittens
  • Snow shovels
  • Environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways
  • Sand or cat litter to improve traction
  • Alternative heating fuel such as dry wood
It is always best to stay indoors when severe weather strikes. After the storm passes, if the loss of heat and power becomes too much to bear, you may need to go to the nearest public shelter—but be certain that the distance to travel is a short one, and cover every inch of exposed skin in warm layers! According to FEMA, you can text SHELTER plus your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the closest shelter in your area. With your disaster plan and emergency supplies in place, you’ll be prepared to weather a winter storm at home or at work. From all of us at LDR, stay safe, stay warm…and think spring! LDR Construction Services, Inc. Cleaning & Restoration has proudly served all of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin since 1991. LDR specializes in the complete repair of fire, smoke, wind, water and vandalism damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, the LDR disaster team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. For more information, visit or call 1-888-874-7066. How to make a business disaster plan. Free eBook.  


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