• Here's your checklist for major winter storms

    Updated:

    Story Highlights

    BOSTON - While the type and amount of precipitation will vary across Massachusetts, we're certain a major winter storm is going to impact all of New England this weekend. 

    There are a few things everyone should have on hand when that happens -- no matter how much or how little snow you're going to see. 

    We get it, we all live in New England, but eye rolls don't keep you safe and warm should something go awry during this one.

    National Grid says it is planning to respond to power outages after snow gets packed down with freezing rain, ice and then a final flash-freeze Sunday (sounds like fun, right?).

    So that means you need to be ready to endure at least a few hours without power -- if not more. 

    Light

    Have some candles, batteries and flashlights handy. No matter how long your house has looked the same, you shouldn't be fumbling around in the dark. Fill your generator if you have one. 

    Food

    MILK AND BREAD NOW. Everyone knows the joke, but we still all run to the grocery before a storm hits. There's a reason why shelves empty, because we need food. Make jokes after you've stocked up. 

    Wegmans managers say eggs, bottled water and batteries are the big pre-storm sellers, so prepare as needed!

    Water

    Just in case water gets cut off, you need to have something to drink. Think about keeping a reasonable supply of spring water in jugs in your pantry. Oh, and remember you can’t flush the toilet without power -- so you can fill up the tub and keep a bucket handy to fill up and flush.

    First Aid Kit

    You should always keep a basic first aid kit in your home, but especially when the weather might make it more difficult to get to a hospital. You want to be able to take care of yourself and your family in the event that you need some basic medical treatment and an ambulance or other response might be delayed. 

    CO detectors

    Make sure you check your carbon monoxide detectors before a storm. When the power is out and you light a fire, you want to know that your CO detectors are working. Below, you'll find some helpful information about how to know if you might be inhaling CO. 

    Blankets

    You should always have enouth to stay warm in your car -- in case you get stuck -- and in your home if the power goes out. It's a basic way to stay warm. 

    Communication

    Keep your phone charged while you can so you can stay connected and communicate. If you lose power for an extended amount of time, your phone battery will die so make sure you have a radio or something. 

    Salt

    Remember how we said there's going to be a flash freeze at the end of this storm? Yeah, so you're not going to want to wait around to clean up whatever snow falls. Any slush that's left over is going to get slick and dangerous Monday morning. So you'll want to shovel and salt as soon as possible when the storm is wrapping up.

    Boston 25 News [iOS | Android]

    While we're giving you tips, we'll throw in this one: download the Boston 25 News and Weather apps so you can get the latest updates on your phone. 

    Here is some additional helpful info from National Grid. 

    We urge customers to watch out for their own wellbeing and the safety of utility crews working during the storm. Here are some tips to help keep everyone safe:

    • Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid or your local emergency response organization. 
    • Power problems can sometimes interrupt public water supply systems or disable well pumps, so it’s an especially good idea to keep a supply of bottled drinking water handy, as well as some canned food. 
    • People who depend on electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-322-3223.
    • Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period.
    • Report power outages at nationalgridus.com/OutageCentral or call: 1-800-465-1212
       

    Electric safety

    • If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel.  Failure to do this could jeopardize the safety of line crews and the public.
    • If you lose power, turn off any appliances that were on when the power went off, but leave one light on so you will know when power is restored. 
    • Reminder: It’s not safe to work in an elevated bucket during periods of increased wind gusts.  Our line workers begin restoration work only when conditions are deemed safe.

          
    Gas safety

    • Natural gas customers should closely inspect areas around and over gas meters, service hook-ups and vents for ice and snow that could damage equipment or prevent CO from properly venting.
    • If  you suspect a natural gas leak:
      • Get Out - All occupants should leave the house immediately. Do not use the telephone or light switches for any reason.
      • Call Us – After leaving the house and reaching a safe environment, call the National Grid 24-hour gas emergency numbers: New England:1-800-640-1595
      • Stay Out - Do not return to your home until National Grid tells you it is safe. 

     
    Carbon Monoxide

    • The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to those of the flu.  Depending upon the amount of carbon monoxide in the air and length of exposure, symptoms may include headaches, weakness, confusion, chest tightness, skin redness, dizziness, nausea, sleepiness, fluttering of the heart or loss of muscle control. 
    • If you suspect carbon monoxide is present in your home, go outside immediately and breathe deeply; then call 911. If symptoms are severe, get medical attention right away.

     
    Encouraging Customers to Stay Connected:

    • Report power outages at www.nationalgridus.com or call 1-800-465-1212.
    • Receive text message alerts and updates when you text the word STORM to NGRID (64743).
    • Use your mobile device to track outage information and storm-related safety tips through National Grid’s mobile site accessible at www.ngrid.com/mobile.
    • Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram; we post all the latest storm and restoration updates.
    • Track outages and ETRs at www.nationalgridus.com/outage-central
       

    >>Weekend storm could drop more than a foot of snow in some spots, significant icing in others
    >>Hour-by-hour radar: Major winter storm hitting New England

    Next Up: