How To Stay Safe During A Nor'easter Storm

Matt Lillywhite
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

"Approximately 20 to 40 Nor'easters occur in the northeastern United States every year, with at least two considered severe," per the New Jersey State Government. They often bring storm surges, heavy snow, strong winds, and coastal flooding to many northeastern states such as New York, Massachusetts & New Jersey. Since Nor'easter storms can be extremely dangerous, it's a good idea to be prepared for whenever one arrives.

What Is A Nor'easter?

A Nor'easter is a storm that occurs along North America's East Coast and is named after the northeasterly winds that blow across the coastal area. Nor'easters are most common and powerful between September and April.

According to the National Weather Service, "The U.S. East Coast provides an ideal breeding ground for Nor'easters. During winter, the polar jet stream transports cold Arctic air southward across the plains of Canada and the United States, then eastward toward the Atlantic Ocean where warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic tries to move northward. The warm waters of the Gulf Stream help keep the coastal waters relatively mild during the winter, which in turn helps warm the cold winter air over the water. This difference in temperature between the warm air over the water and cold Arctic air over the land is the fuel that feeds Nor'easters."

How To Prepare For A Nor'easter Storm.

Cold temperatures, power outages, and slippery roadways are all possible consequences of Nor'easter storms. Before one arrives, you should know how to prepare your house and car to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

The CDC recommends repairing any leaks in your roof and cutting away tree branches that could fall on your home during a winter storm. It's also a good idea to install a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home and replace the batteries twice per year (or whenever they run out).

Nor'easter storms can last for several days. Therefore, you should have enough supplies at home to ensure you don't have to venture outside during hazardous conditions. Since power outages can occur during a Nor'easter, buy non-perishable food, bottled water, blankets, and other things you may need.

How To Stay Safe During A Nor'easter Storm.

Don't walk on slippery surfaces as many people get injured by falling on ice-covered sidewalks and driveways. Use rock salt or a de-icing product to keep your steps and pathways as ice-free as possible. It's also worth mentioning that sand can be used to lessen the chance of sliding or falling, per the CDC.

If possible, avoid driving on the roads as they're likely to be slippery due to snow and ice. If you have an important reason to drive during a Nor'easter storm (such as going to the hospital), tell a loved one your destination and expected time of arrival. Then, once you reach your destination, let them know you arrived safely. Ask them to notify authorities if you are late.

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