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How to prepare before an ice event

Here are some useful tips to live by before any winter storm that is producing accumulating ice moves in.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Accumulating ice has been a major story the past several days as harsh winter weather gripped multiple states. 

Now, it is the Carolinas' turn to feel the wrath of that chilling weather, and accumulating ice is one of the most dangerous parts of winter. Here is what you should be doing to prepare.

Prep your car

First, you should have plenty of gas. Even if your tank is nearly full, go ahead and put gas in your car. That being said, just because you have gas, doesn’t mean you should be out driving when the weather takes a turn.

Also, make sure your tires are full. Every 10 degrees dropped, tires can lose 1-2 PSI. For those who aren't sure why that matters, lower tire pressure means less control on the road which isn't ideal when the roads are slippery.

Get to charging everything

Make sure your phone is charged or you have backup chargers or an external battery pack. Ice storms mean there is a good chance many people could lose power due to heavy tree limbs falling and knocking out power lines. It is always good to have a reliable line of communication just in case of emergency.

Do you have crucial supplies?

For your car and home, you should have blankets on hand. Also, a first aid kit and an emergency supply kit should be readily available for all possible severe weather. Since you don't want to be left in the dark when the power goes out, make sure you know where your flashlight is and have some extra batteries with it just in case.

Don't lose your food

One thing some people don't think to do is to turn your refrigerator and freezer to their highest setting. It's better to have your food as cold as possible in case the power goes out.

In turn, if you lose power, don’t open either appliance unless you absolutely have to as every time you open it, you will lose some of that cold. 

Avoid fires

Check your carbon monoxide detector and see if it has a healthy backup battery. You should do this for your smoke detectors while you're at it. Fires are more likely this time of year when people are trying to keep warm, so you want to make sure to avoid any avoidable accidents.

Stay put and safe and calm

Don’t drive if you don’t have to, watch for low-hanging branches and avoid any areas with downed power lines. 

These types of storms can cut off heat, power and communications, so it is helpful to be prepared.

During and after an ice storm you should stay put if you can. Wait for several hours to ensure crews were able to treat the roads and give temps a chance to climb above freezing.

Stay safe everyone.