10 Things You Should Absolutely Never Do During A Terrible Winter Storm

by Grace Eire
Grace plays in a band and is the mother to a black cat named Fitzhugh.

We are right in the middle of the winter months, folks, which means one thing: it’s snowstorm season.

While it’s always fun to wake up to a beautiful coating of white on the ground, covering every little twig and fence post, it’s a much different thing to endure a big, scary blizzard.

Even if you love snow and all the fun activities it offers, virtually no one wants to endure a dangerous winter storm. You can be cooped up in your house for hours and possibly even days before it’s safe to venture out to the store for some more food. And if the power goes out?

Then you’re probably stuck in a freezing cold house with no way of getting a warm meal.

Then, of course, there’s all the shoveling afterward.

Some common snowstorm mistakes can actually prove to be very dangerous.

Scroll through below for 10 things you should never do during a winter storm. Did we forget anything on our list? Let us know in the comments.

And please SHARE these extremely important tips with your family and friends on Facebook!

Thumbnail Sources: Flickr 1, 2, 3

1. Try To Heat More Than One Room


If the power goes out and you need to use an alternate source of heat, like a fireplace or a non-electric space heater, the best and most efficient thing to do is to only heat one room.

Make sure that it’s as insulated and sealed off as possible so that the heat stays in and the cold stays out.

2. Forget To Use The Quarter Trick

Closeup of quarter

During a storm, the power may go out in the middle of the night without you knowing exactly how long the outage lasted. This can make it hard to tell whether or not it’s OK to eat the food in your fridge or if it has spoiled.

If a blizzard is coming, always keep a frozen cup of water in your freezer with a quarter placed on top. Check it each morning, especially if you suspect that the power has gone out.

If you notice that the quarter has sunk to the bottom, then you should throw your food out. If it’s somewhere in the middle, it may be OK, though you should still spot check before eating.

3. Neglect Your Pet

Cat in snow

If you know that a storm is coming, make sure you keep your pets inside until the threat passes. And if a storm hits you by surprise, gather up your pets as quickly as possible and get them to shelter inside your home.

A doghouse or a shed where they might usually like to hang out is not good enough. Just because wild animals are able to endure a blizzard doesn’t mean that your pet can or should do the same. If you have taken the responsibility of caring for a pet, then you have to make sure that he or she has proper shelter, food, and warmth during the storm.

If you have bigger animals in a barn, make sure that the doors are sealed, the animals have blankets, and that there is enough food.

4. Use Your Stove Top For Heat

Stove burners turned on

Never use a gas stove for alternate heat, because the gas can fill your home and potentially cause an explosion. Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a big danger when using a gas stove for prolonged heat.

Be prepared with tons of warm blankets and a non-electric space heater instead.

5. Forget To Charge Your Phone

Charging phone

Always keep your phone plugged into the wall outlet as much as you can during a storm. That way, if the power goes out, you’ll be sure to have 100 percent battery from the get-go.

If you have portable chargers, juice them up too, in case it takes a long time to get the power back up and running. You never know when you might have to make an emergency phone call.

6. Bring A Grill Inside To Cook

Grill covered in snow

If you have an electric stove and the power goes out, never bring your grill inside to prepare food, as it can emit methane gas and present other dangers to your home, such as a fire.

You may not get to have a hearty warm meal, but you’ll rest assured knowing you won’t poison yourself eating that peanut butter and jelly while bundled in blankets.

7. Forget To Clear Your Car's Tailpipe

Car covered in snow

If you are forced to drive during a bad storm, first sit in your car while it warms up a bit. For vehicles parked outside, always make sure to clean snow and ice out of the tailpipe so the carbon monoxide has a place to escape. Leaving the blockage could force the gas back inside where you are sitting in a very small, enclosed space.

At the same time (and this one is pretty common knowledge), never heat up your car in an enclosed garage. The carbon monoxide in the exhaust can poison and kill you, so make sure to open up the door.

8. Neglect The Pipes

Under the sink

Freezing pipes can be out of your control sometimes, but there are ways to try and stop this costly problem — if your power stays on, at least.

Keep the thermostat at a higher temperature even at nighttime to try and keep them from freezing. You may end up with a higher heating bill, but you will have in turn saved yourself a huge repair cost for frozen or burst pipes.

The Red Cross also recommends running a trickle of water from your sinks and opening up bathroom and kitchen cabinets to let the warmer air circulate to the pipes.

9. Call 911 For Anything But An Emergency

Snow plow

During a big storm, there will likely be a lot of people out there with genuine emergencies who need 911 for serious reasons.

If you have a non-emergency, like a power line going down without injuring anyone, do not call 911. Too many calls clog up the lines for folks in immediate danger. There are non-emergency police numbers available for a reason!

10. Forget About Your Elderly Or Disabled Neighbors

Closeup elderly woman

Before, during, and after a storm, be a Good Samaritan and check on your neighbors who may need help gathering supplies or shoveling their driveway.

If the power goes out and it’s a relatively safe walk, consider bringing blankets over and checking up on them. You could even offer to take them in while the storm passes if you think they need that option.

Did you know all of these winter storm no-nos?

Please SHARE these incredibly important tips with your family and friends who are facing winter weather this season!