With winter weather fast approaching, and already present in some areas of the world, it is important to ensure you are prepared for any emergency, winter storm, or other winter event. If an ice storm, snow storm, or even a bad rain storm strikes, you will want to make sure your home and family are prepared to face it. Follow these simple tips to ensure your home and family is ready to face whatever the winter throws at you.
Prepare Your Home for Winter
Keeping your home winter-ready is something simple you can do to avoid headaches and expenses down the line. Follow these steps to make sure your home is winter proof:
- Clean and inspect your heater, chimney, and oven in preparation for winter use.
- Insulate any exposed pipes and put away the hoses to prevent water from freezing inside of them.
- Look for leaks in doors and windows and seal them with weather stripping.
- Know how to shut off your water valves in case pipes burst.
- Create an emergency kit to weather winter storms.
- Clear away ice and snow as soon as possible after each storm. This will prevent dangerous build-up of ice and snow that can lead to injuries.
Winter Weather Supply Checklist
- Fire extinguisher
- Snow shovel
- Rock salt (or try a greener alternative, like birdseed, oil-absorbing grit, sand, or Calcium magnesium acetate)
- Alternative heat source not dependent on electrical power
- Fuel for your heat source (enough for 3 days)
- Warm clothing
- Warm blankets
- 3-day supply of food
- 3-day supply of water
- NOAA Weather Radio
- Necessary medications and medical supplies
- First aid kit
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Essential hygiene items (feminine products, diapers, etc)
- Camp stove or other cooking alternative
Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter
Your vehicle should also be winter-ready for any possible emergency. Create a mini-version of your home kit and put it in your car. You should also add flares and an ice scraper to this list. Below is a list of things you can do to prepare your vehicle for winter:
- Switch to a different oil, if necessary. Some cars perform better in the winter with a different grade of oil. Your manual will let you know if you need to switch oils.
- Switch to snow tires, or carry snow chains in your car (if you live in a snow-prone area).
- Keep a car emergency kit in your vehicle at all times.
- Stock your car with an extra electronics charger.
- If you have to stop during a storm, don’t run your engine longer than 10 minutes every hour and keep your exhaust pipe free of snow and ice.
Prepare Your Family for Winter
Have an emergency plan for winter storms. Supply each family member with steps they should take in any setting to meet up or weather the storm alone. Make sure all family members know the correct procedure for winter storms and other dangers, including fire.
Follow these steps and you will be able to face the coming season with joy, rather than dread.
How do you prepare for winter each year?