Be Prepared

YEC is always prepared for winter storms. Use these resources below to make sure you are too. 

A lineman prepares for a storm

Stock up on necessities

When winter storms approach, we encourage all YEC members to stock up on necessities. Here are some items you should have on hand before the storm hits: water (one gallon per person per day, for several days), food (three-day supply of non-perishables), flashlights, First Aid Kit/prescriptions, extra batteries/wireless phone chargers, manual can opener, extra blankets, moist towelettes, extra pet food (if applicable).

Prevent frozen pipes

If temperatures will remain below freezing for several days, be prepared for frozen pipes. Try these measures to prevent freezing:

1. Keep garage doors closed if you have water supply lines in the garage.

2. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warmer air to circulate around plumbing.

3. Let cold water drip slowly from faucets served by exposed pipes.

Respond to frozen or burst pipes

If your pipes burst or you suspect freezing and want to avoid potential interior damage, be prepared to shut off your main water valve, which is typically located on the perimeter of your home. You will likely need a water shutoff wrench to do this. Know where and how to shut off your water main (before the storm!) so you can avoid unnecessary flooding in your home.

Avoid travel

Take it from our crews, the roads can be pretty rough, folks. Please do not drive during or after a winter storm unless it’s a life-threatening situation and absolutely necessary. Stay safe out there!

Preserve your food

Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature if power goes out. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. You can also refer to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection guidelines HERE.

Keep your house warm

Retain indoor heat as long as possible. Do not open exterior doors unless absolutely necessary, and keep all blinds and curtains closed to preserve heat. Shield windows with additional coverings at night, like tacking a lightweight blanket to block cold air.

Be aware of black ice

Even after a winter storm ends the roads may still be icy. If you have to drive, please be aware of black ice patches that you might not be able to see easily. Drive slowly and be extra vigilant!

Stay away from downed power lines

Always assume a downed power line is energized. If you encounter a downed line while driving, please stay back. Turn around and find an alternative route. Always report downed lines to YEC.

Document damage

If you experience any storm damage to your home, be sure to photograph and document it (for insurance claims) before you begin the clean-up process.

A man shovels snow

Our area doesn’t get much snow normally, but when we do, be sure to shovel carefully. A friendly reminder from YEC: please do not pile snow on or around any pad-mounted transformer. Our crews may need to access these transformers as they work to restore power.

Additional Resources

FEMA Winter Weather Tips

FEMA Winter Weather Fact Sheet

Red Cross Winter Storm Safety Tips

FEMA "How to Prepare for a Winter Storm" Video

FEMA "What to Do If You're Stuck on the Road" Video