Winter is upon us and while it can be a beautiful time of year, it’s important to be ready for any type of weather. Winter can bring with it power outages, road closures, and more. Here are some things that you should do before the snow arrives so that your home and family are prepared for any emergency.
Prepare Your Home
Check for drafts around doors and windows, and use caulking to help seal any spots. Insulate your home properly as well. Make sure your heating system is working properly, and check to see that it’s connected to an inverter generator power source in case of an outage. You can also check window seals for cracks or gaps where cold air can come in through the frame or sashes when the weather gets colder outside. If you find any, use caulk or other sealants to fill them up.
What would you eat for a few days if the power went out or if you couldn’t leave your driveway? Your home should have at least a few days’ worth of food for this type of emergency. This includes non-perishable food items, canned goods, bottled water, and other non-alcoholic beverages.
Have a first aid kit handy at all times. Be sure to include bandages and disinfectant wipes in your first aid kit as well as any over-the-counter medications you may need. Your kit should also include any prescription meds you rely on for your health needs.
Gather blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, and anything that will help keep you warm if the power goes out or your home is damaged by winds or snowfall. It’s also important to Keep flashlights close by so they’re easy to access when it’s dark outside. This includes extra batteries because they can quickly run out during an emergency situation.
Prepare Your Car
Check your tires. The tread should be at least 6/32 of an inch deep, and you should replace all four tires if the tread is less than 3/32 of an inch. Check the wiper blades. If your windshield wipers are leaving spots behind, it’s time to change them out. Check windshield washer fluid levels in each reservoir and add as needed to maintain at least one-quarter of full capacity. You’ll also need to Check antifreeze levels and top them off if they’re low because freezing temperatures can cause pipes and hoses to burst if there isn’t enough antifreeze in them.
Take Care of the Kids and Pets
Before the storm hits, prepare your family and pets for the cold. If possible, keep little ones indoors. Dress them in warm winter clothing and make sure they have access to plenty of food and water. Keep them away from windows and drafty areas, like front doors or unheated rooms. Keep small children away from fireplaces, wood stoves, generators, or other sources of heat that could cause burns when touched by curious hands. If your home is without power due to a storm surge or downed tree limbs blocking electrical lines, take extra care when using candles or portable space heaters—these can easily ignite if left unattended.
Be Prepared for Power Outages
Aside from having enough food and a generator you’ll also want a battery-powered radio, flashlights, and candles. When the power goes out, you may not be able to rely on your television or cell phone to keep you informed about what’s happening in the world. A battery-powered radio allows you to stay up-to-date and listen for updates as they come in. Keep flashlights with extra batteries handy. If there’s an emergency situation, chances are that you’ll need some light after dark—and even if it’s just a winter storm, having some extra batteries can be helpful if one of your flashlights dies before its time is up.
Install a Chimney Cap
A chimney cap is a top-shaped structure that fits over your chimney and prevents snow and ice from entering the chimney. It’s inexpensive, easy to install, and helps prevent fire risks. To install one yourself, you’ll need to determine what type of cap is best for your home. Your local hardware store can help with this process, or you may wish to hire a professional installer if you lack experience in this area.