Severe Weather Safety Reminders for Your Family
Severe weather can strike any time here in New Jersey, and its impact can be devastating if you’re not prepared for it.
Here are seven things you can do to keep your family safe before, during, and after a severe weather event in NJ:
- Write and share an emergency plan with your family. A detailed emergency plan is a must-have for any family. Need help preparing one? Check out tThese resources from the Department of Homeland Security’s ready.gov website.
- Check carbon monoxide (CO) detectors at least twice a year. These devices provide essential protection for your family if your equipment malfunctions or is damaged during severe weather.
- Always listen to authorities. Severe thunderstorms and other extreme weather can develop quickly. Charge electronic devices and have extra batteries for emergency radios to keep up with the latest information; don’t assume that you’ll have access to the internet or your cellphone!
- If you have a backup generator, fill it. If you rely on a gas-powered backup generator, make sure you have enough fuel in it to power your devices for at least a week in the event of a long-term loss of power.
- If you are ordered to evacuate, use extreme caution when returning to your property. Look for downed power lines and other property damage that could be hazards for your family.
- Inspect your home comfort equipment. If it is safe to do so, do a visual inspection of your equipment to assess damage after a storm. Always follow these guidelines when inspecting your equipment after a severe weather incident:
- If you have any gas-powered appliances, avoid turning on a light switch or using any power source when re-entering your home after an outage.
- Never inspect your household appliances while standing in water.
- Never attempt appliance equipment repairs yourself – always call a professional.
If your oil-fired furnace, boiler or water heater is housed in a flooded basement,
- Shut down all breakers to your basement before you go down there. If your breaker is in the basement, only attempt this if conditions make it safe to do so; if they don’t, contact an electrician for help.
- Begin removing water. While you will need to wash and sanitize everything to prevent mold damage, some items and décor may be salvageable. Take everything you can out of your basement to dry elsewhere – preferably outside the house.
- If it’s safe to do so, access your appliances, including your furnace or boiler, water heater, washer and dryer, etc. If your appliance has a pilot light, do NOT re-light it without a licensed service tech inspecting it first.
While restoring your furnace to working order could simply amount to giving it a thorough cleaning, you won’t know for sure without a professional heating system inspection. If your equipment has been exposed to water, do not use it before calling in a heating professional!
Be safe in any weather with expert service and repair for your oil-fired equipment in NJ from the pros at JW Pierson. Contact us today to learn more about heating repairs and emergency heating service in New Jersey!