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Boreal Emergency Preparedness Portal

Freezing rain safety tips

Oct 24, 2018 03:43PM ● By Editor

By John Master - October 24, 2018


Winter months bring on extreme weather including rain, ice, snow, freezing rain and high winds. Different parts of the country are more or less susceptible to different weather conditions. Knowing your area and the types of weather that can threaten your location is greatly important.

Freezing rain is a major cause of accidents and severe weather in many states. Freezing rain can cause downed power lines, dangerous driving conditions and structural damage to buildings and vehicles.

Freezing Rain Safety

Learn Freezing Rain Safety

This rain can also be called supercooled rain. This rain causes a glaze over structures, buildings and streets and can be a lot more dangerous that freezing rain and sleet. This ice can be an eighth of an inch thick to 12 inches. This glaze can settle onto any outside surface weighing hundreds of pounds. This weight can bring down power lines, collapse roofs and split large trees. Since this ice is so dense, it can take days or even weeks to melt depending on the temperatures outside.

Freezing rain can occur when rain becomes supercooled, freezes and turns to glaze once it hits a surface. Higher up in the atmosphere is where snow starts to form flakes; this water falls to a warmer area and turns back into water/rain. It then falls to the lowest layer where temperatures are below freezing and the raindrops are cooled to slightly below freezing. Once this freezing rain hits a surface that is below freezing, it turns to ice and glaze. This glaze is dense and harder to remove then ice chips and freezing rain sediment.

Freezing Rain Safety Tips

Safety is exceptionally important when it comes to freezing rain and glaze. Your home, cars and landscape can be seriously disrupted because of this weather. Your trees and power lines can only hold so much weight when it comes to this glaze. When preparing your trees for storm, make sure your tree is healthy. If extreme amounts of weight are settling on an unhealthy tree, it can easily fall on cars and your home. Make sure you trim dead branches and any overhang that may be over driveways and roofs. This will help shield your property in case there is a freezing rainstorm.

Your car may be stuck under ice in many cases if you don’t have a garage. Before you travel you must make sure that it is safe to travel on any streets. Cities should make sure to salt and care for streets after a storm. Yet many times storms are just too extreme to travel. Slowly warming your car will help melt the ice if you can open your car door. Do not try to force open doors or trunks, for this might break door locks and jams further. If the ice is thick enough, you may not be able to access your car until the weather warms and melts the ice around your car.

Freezing rain and glaze can cause thousands or even millions of dollars in damage. Safety is the most important during these winter storms. If your property has been damaged you may need extra help from a restoration or cleaning service. Assistance will help you clean quicker and more efficiently. There are many different restoration companies that can assist you in your time of need who can also work with insurance companies to get the job done quickly.

Driving tips for freezing rain conditions