3 Things to Prepare For a Winter Storm

As winter continues with its icy snow and chilly winds, it’s essential to gear up for the potential challenges that a winter storm may bring. Let us guide you through some of the main things that everyone needs to prepare for the frosty season.

From securing a warm and comfortable home to assembling an emergency kit for your vehicle, we’re here to help you weather the storm with resilience and ease!

1. Your Home

When winter weather hits, we hope you’ll be bundled up warm at home, that’s where we all want to be! The best way to ensure you will have a safe place to hunker down through turbulent winter weather is by being prepared for whatever Mother Nature sends our way. Preparedness is an integral part of keeping yourself and your loved ones safe through extreme weather shifts such as surges, power outages, frozen pipes and fallen branches.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure your home is ready in case a winter storm hits:

Insulate and Weatherproof

  • Insulate your home, especially attics, basements, and crawl spaces, to conserve heat and reduce energy costs.
  • Be sure to also insulate exposed pipes to prevent freezing. This is especially important for pipes in unheated areas like basements, attics, and crawl spaces.
  • When temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure to open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors that way warmer air can circulate around pipes. You should also let water drip through the faucet, even just at a trickle, to prevent freezing pipes.

Maintain Heating Systems

  • Prior to the cold weather season, schedule a professional inspection and maintenance for your heating system before winter begins.
    Emergency Generator
  • Consider investing in a portable generator for power outages. Make sure it is in good working condition and stored in a well-ventilated area, and stock up on fuel.
  • Be sure to test your generator and familiarize yourself with how it operates so you can be ready to use it should an emergency occur.
    Stock Emergency Supplies
  • Create an emergency kit that includes essentials such as non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, blankets, and necessary medications for your family, including your pets.

Trim Trees and Remove Dead Branches

  • Prune tree branches that could fall on your home or car during a large storm. Be sure to cut any that do not seem stable as ice and snow accumulation can make branches heavy and prone to breakage.
  • Remove dead or diseased trees that may also pose a threat during severe weather.

Clear Gutters and Downspouts

  • Remove debris from gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage and help prevent ice dams from forming.
  • Position downspouts away from the foundation of your home to defend against water damage.
  • By taking these precautions, you can significantly reduce the potential impact of winter storms on your home and ensure a safer and more comfortable living environment for you and your family.

2. Your Fireplace

We all love the warm glow of the fireplace, especially when it’s cold out. Snuggling beside the fire, or roasting marshmallows can be great ways to spend days inside when waiting out storms.

Your fireplace is an amazing additional emergency heat source for your home in case of loss of power. Preparing your fireplace for the winter season is essential to ensure it operates safely and effectively during cold and inclement weather.

What to do before storms hit:

Do a Self-Inspection

  • Do your own fireplace inspection checking for any cracks or leaks. Check the brick lining for any damage and replace any damaged bricks.
  • Inspect the damper for proper operation and ensure it opens and closes smoothly.

Schedule a Professional Chimney Sweep

  • Before building your first fire of the season, ensure that your chimney has recently undergone an inspection by a professional. This will reduce the risk of chimney fires and ensure your fireplace has proper ventilation.

Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Your Home

  • If you already have these installed, then be sure to check and or change batteries and ensure that these are in good working condition.

Stock Up on Firewood

  • Last but surely not least be sure to stock up on firewood so that you and your family have plenty when storms hit.

3. Your Car

The last thing you need to prepare for winter weather is your car. Storms can strike at any moment, meaning you may not be home when troublesome weather begins.

Should a storm head your way while you are on the go, it is crucial that your vehicle ready for it. Preparing your car for winter storms is crucial to ensure your safety and the reliability of your vehicle during challenging weather conditions.

Here is what you can do to make sure that your car is ready:

Prepare Your Tires

  • Getting winter tires with adequate tread depth can be extremely helpful and provide better traction on snow and ice. This will improve your vehicles stability.
  • Check and adjust your tire pressure as cold temperatures can cause your tire pressure to drop.
  • Make sure to have chains ready to go in case of ice or snow, especially if you live in a mountainous or hilly area.

Do a Self-Inspection

  • Check your car battery. Cold weather can strain your car battery, so it is important to make sure it is in good working condition.
  • Inspect and top off your car’s antifreeze and coolant as this will help prevent your engine from freezing.
  • Check all your lights including headlights, brake lights, and turn signals.
  • Check your brakes and check brake fluid level and replace it if necessary.
  • Replace Your Windshield Wipers.
  • Be sure to replace your wiper blades that may be worn out from the summer heat
  • Fill your windshield wiper fluid with a winter grade solution that won’t freeze.

Create a Car Emergency Kit

  • Pack an emergency kit that includes items such as a blanket, extra warm clothing, non-perishable snacks, a flashlight, a shovel, an ice scraper, work gloves, and a first aid kit.

As winter blankets our surroundings with its icy embrace, ensuring the readiness of our homes, fireplaces, and vehicles becomes paramount.

By preparing each aspect of our living spaces, we can fortify ourselves against the challenges that the colder months may bring. From insulating our houses against biting winds and securing emergency supplies, to readying our cars with winter tires and essential tools, these proactive measures can give you much more peace of mind.

Here’s to a winter well-prepared, where our homes provide refuge, our cars navigate the icy roads with ease, and our fireplaces bathe us with the warmth of a home and safety.

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