Ice storms: tips and tricks for preventing winter weather damage

Ice storms, or freezing rainstorms, are defined by the accumulation of at least 6.4 mm of ice on exposed surfaces. This icy accumulation can cause serious damage to structures, and even just a little freezing rain can make for very dangerous road conditions. Be sure to make use of these helpful tips and handy advice should an ice storm head your way.

Before the storm

  • Set your fridge and freezer to the coldest temperature.
  • Fill up your car’s gas tank.
  • Prepare an emergency kit with essential items, like food, drinking water, a flashlight, radio, and backup batteries.


During the storm

  • If you need to go outside, beware of branches and power lines, which are at risk of collapsing if weighted down by ice.
  • Never touch a power line. A hanging wire may be live and pose a danger of electrocution.
  • Avoid driving. Even a small amount of freezing rain can make roads extremely slippery.
  • If you can do so safely, remove ice and snow build-up on your property; sand or salt walkways.


Despite precautions to the contrary, electrical outages often accompany ice and freezing rainstorms. If this ever happens to you, these tips will come in handy.

  • Check your electrical panel to rule out any internal problem.
  • Stay indoors and wear several layers of clothing.
  • Shut off appliances to avoid damage from any electrical surges. Once the power’s back on, turn appliances on again one at a time.
  • Turn off all your lights, except one, so you know when the electricity has been turned back on.
  • Never use a generator, BBQ, or any item powered by natural gas or propane indoors, or in your garage, as they can emit toxic carbon monoxide.
  • Equip yourself with a carbon monoxide detector and stock backup batteries.
  • Avoid opening the fridge or freezer door unless absolutely necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen between 24 and 36 hours if the door is left shut.
  • Use a flashlight rather than a candle for light.
  • If you light candles, use proper holders and keep them out of children’s reach. Never leave candles unattended.
  • If burning wood in your fireplace, use a screen to keep hazardous sparks from entering your space.
  • Don’t burn paper or trash in your fireplace. When burning, lightweight matter can float up your chimney and land on your roof.


The information contained on this webpage is for informational purposes only. belairdirect makes no representation, warranty or guarantee that use of this information will prevent damage. Your insurance contract prevails at all times, please consult it for a complete description of coverage and exclusions.