Your driveway and car aren't the only things you need to clean snow from. Don't forget fire hydrants, gas meters, vents and sidewalks.

Every second counts in an emergency. Fire departments are reminding residents to make sure fire hydrants blocked, concealed, or snow and ice covered are cleared. "Fire trucks carry a limited amount of water, so one of the first tasks upon arriving at a fire is to locate a water supply from the nearest hydrant," Hudson Fire said. "Hydrants covered in snow can be difficult to locate, and uncovering them can waste valuable time needed during a fire fight. Keeping them clear can mean easier access to water and more time doing what really matters - fighting the fire."

Don't just clean off the hydrant. Clear 3 foot area around it for easier access and shovel a path from the street, sidewalk or driveway to the hydrant so it is visible from the road and firefighters can easily access it.

Photo Credit - Hudson Fire Department

Clearing hydrants is generally considered the responsibility of the residents occupying property near a hydrant. Consider helping elderly friends, neighbors, or those with medical conditions to keep their fire hydrants clear.

Photo Credit - Hudson Fire Department

Don’t let carbon monoxide poisoning leak in your home. It’s important to keep your furnace vents, intake valves and chimneys free of snow. "Blocked vents could cause carbon monoxide to build up in your home and cause carbon monoxide poisoning," Hudson Fire reminds residents.

Intake pipes are usually white plastic tubes coming out of the side or back of your house. "Even if snow accumulation hasn’t reached your vents, blowing and drifting snow can be enough to create a problem."

Photo Credit - Hudson Fire Department

If you have a carbon monoxide detector, make sure the batteries are working.

Common signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
• Dull headache
• Weakness
• Dizziness
• Nausea or vomiting
• Shortness of breath
• Confusion
• Blurred vision
• Loss of consciousness

It's also your responsibility to keep sideways in front of your home clear of ice and snow.

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Winter Weather Preparation:

  • Keep your cell phone charged and make sure you know where your backup power supply is.
  • Make sure all your flashlights have fresh batteries.
  • Fill your gas tank. You can use your car to keep warm and recharge devices.
  • Have some food available that you don’t need to cook.
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