As a huge winter storm heads toward the Northeast today, putting millions of people, homes and businesses at risk, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) offers guidance to help reduce potential property damage.
The National Weather Service blizzard watch for parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Long Island includes the potential for hurricane force winds along the coast. Other areas in the region can expect significant snowfall.
“Heavy snow and freezing temperatures can burst pipes, cause roofs to collapse and lead to interior fires as people use various heat sources,” said Julie Rochman, president and CEO of IBHS. “There are steps you can take now to better withstand the effects of this potentially historic snowfall. Doing these things will help avoid costly repairs and headaches later.”
Freezing Pipes – Frozen water in pipes can cause them to burst. Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are particularly vulnerable to freezing in extremely cold weather. Find out how to keep water in pipes from freezing here: http://disastersafety.org/freezing_weather/prevent-frozen-pipes.
Roof Collapse – The age of a building is a major determinant of how much snow and ice it can handle before collapsing. Get more information about roof snow and ice load ranges here: http://disastersafety.org/freezing_weather/prevent-roof-collapse.
Alternative Heating Devices – Freezing temperatures also mean increased fire dangers linked to the use of heating devices. Consult IBHS’ Alternative Heating Sources guide to be safe when using space heaters, wood pellet stoves, fireplaces or other heating sources.
Generators – The heavy snow and high winds are likely to cause widespread power outages. Keep the power running during and after the storm by operating a generator safely with guidance from IBHS: Using Generators Safely.
IBHS’ Freezing Weather page on DisasterSafety.org provides guidance on how to protect your home against other winter weather-related hazards. Follow IBHS on Twitter at @DisasterSafety and on Facebook for how-to projects to make your home more resistant to a variety of natural hazards.
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About IBHS – The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is an independent, nonprofit, research and communications organization supported by the property insurance industry. The IBHS mission is to conduct objective, scientific research in order to identify and promote effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses, and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss.