Winter storms bring high winds and massive amounts of snow, which can easily cause power outages. Less than a year ago, winter storm Grayson hit the east coast and left 80,000 homes and businesses without power.

Depending on where you live, winter weather can have a big impact on your daily life. Snow, sleet and freezing temperatures not only affect driving conditions and heating bills, but also home security

To keep severe winter weather from leaving your home security system vulnerable, we’ll walk you through various weather-related scenarios and how you can prepare for each.

1. Power Outages

Ice, cold temperatures and wind can all cause power outages. Because most systems operate on electricity, back-up power sources are necessary.

Consider a home security system that includes a battery backup. If the power does go out, the system will switch over to battery mode until the electricity is restored. Once the power is back on, your system will recharge and operate as usual. However, your system can’t run on batteries forever. Most batteries die after 24 hours. Always ask your security provider how long backup batteries will last and plan accordingly.

2. Disabled Communications

Extreme winds, heavy snow and freezing rain can sometimes cause a lapse in both person-to-person and emergency communications. This can be critical for your monitored service.

To avoid system downtime, consider utilizing cellular monitoring to back up your security system. If your IP (wi-fi) connection were to fail as a result of harsh winter conditions, your security monitoring service will automatically switch to your backup cellular connection. This allows you to avoid theft or burglaries even if your home’s primary network experiences difficulties due to severe winter weather.

3. Unreachable Emergency Services

Emergency services are often overwhelmed with calls and requests as a result of natural disasters like winter storms. Homeowners must be prepared for delays in the event of severe winter weather. Consider the following practices to keep your home secure until emergency services become available:

  • Provide your security vendor with updated emergency contacts.
  • Utilize a battery-powered radio to receive emergency services updates, storm news and an idea of when the power might come back on or conditions will improve.
  • Build an emergency kit that includes food, water, blankets, hats, gloves, batteries, matches and a flashlight in the event of a long power outage.
  • Lock all doors and windows when necessary to deter intruders looking to take advantage of downed security systems during winter storms.
  • Work with a professional to install your natural disaster equipment. This includes smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Follow the tips above and minimize the damage from severe weather. Contact your security provider to ensure you have the proper safeguards in place in the event of a winter storm.