If you’re dreaming of the perfect white Christmas in New Jersey this December, so far you’re in luck. The state has been hit with several inches of snow and ice over the past few days, and although the white landscape makes for lovely holiday scenery, the winter conditions can quickly become dangerous, forcing people to stay off the roads and inside their homes. Personal injury attorneys in New Jersey are offering residents several simple safety tips that will keep everyone safe and warm through the winter season.
Make sure to have enough groceries and clean drinking water in your home, especially if you do not live within walking distance of a grocery or convenience store. If a winter storm hits overnight, grocery stores and gas stations may be closed, or the roads may be blocked off due to unsafe driving conditions. A well-stocked winter kitchen should include foods that will keep without refrigeration or freezing, and can be prepared without a stove or oven, in the event of a long-term power outage. If you are feeding infants and children, be sure to have a steady supply of baby food and formula on hand as well. A water supply will also come in handy, should the pipes freeze in extremely low temperatures. Consumers Energy recommends keeping about 1 gallon of water per person per day on hand throughout the winter, plus a few extra gallons for bathing and washing dishes or clothes.
A widespread power outage could cut off communications, so keeping cellphones, laptops, and tablets fully charged is especially important, as is having a backup battery or generator if possible. If the power is out for extended periods of time, cell phones can be used to contact emergency services, or check the status of local weather reports. If you have electrically powered life-support equipment, such as a respirator or oxygen supply, be sure to check with your doctor or equipment supplier about what to do in the event of an emergency or outage.
Have several flashlights and backup batteries handy as well, in case the lights go out. Personal injury lawyers in New Jersey caution against using candles and matches, as they are less safe than battery operated lighting. Turn one light switch to “on” when the electricity goes out, so you will be able to tell when the power has been restored. A portable, battery operated radio is good to have as well. Keep a list of emergency numbers, including your local police and fire departments, as well as the electric company and your nearest neighbors. If you are traveling, energy companies recommend that you turn off your home’s main breaker, to minimize damage to your appliances and electronics in the event of a storm.
Weather reporters are calling for more snow and ice throughout the coming weeks, and the personal injury attorneys at New Jersey law firm Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman, want to make sure you are safe and sound. Keeping track of weather changes on storm websites and local news channels, and taking a few precautionary measures like the ones listed here will help your family prepare to weather the storm.