Preparing Your Home for Winter Storms

Preparing your home for winter storms starts long before the first snowflake falls. Before the forecast calls for extreme weather, make sure your home is in the best possible condition.

Proactive Preparation

While the weather is still decent, take these household precautions:

  • Insulation: making sure your home is properly insulated to keep the warmth in and cold out is key.
  • Windows: re-caulk the window trim on all of your windows. Better yet, install double-paned windows. (Life Hack: You can use a bubble roll on your windows for extra insulation. )
  • Heat: make sure your chimney has been swept or your heater/furnace has been recently serviced in order to provide maximum warmth.
  • Gutters: Clean out all of your storm gutters. If cluttered, the weight could cause them to collapse.
  • Trees: Keep all of your trees trimmed and remove any broken branches. The last thing you need is for a branch to fall and cause damage to your home.
  • Roof: Install new roofing or have it checked for leaks.
  • Doors: Update the weather-stripping around all of your doors. This will preserve the heat within your home and save you money on your electric bills.
  • Outdoor Plumbing and Pipes: Cover all of your outdoor pipes. If they become frozen, they can burst and leave you without water.
  • Plants: Just like your pipes, it’s smart to cover all of your plants.

Well-Stocked Scenario

Stock up on all of the supplies you may need during an emergency situation. Here are some items to keep on hand:

  • Propane (for homes with gas heaters and stoves)
  • Back-up generator (in case your home’s electricity goes out)
  • Canned, non-perishable food
  • Manual can opener
  • Water (About one gallon per person, per day. Plan on three days’ worth)
  • Batteries
  • Candles (make sure to keep out of children’s reach and away from all flammable items)
  • Flashlights (have a light source for every member of your family)
  • Firewood (for homes with fireplaces)
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector
  • Blankets
  • First Aid Kit
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Phone chargers
  • Weather radio
  • Pocket knife
  • Salt and shovel (to keep snow and ice away from doors and off of driveways)
  • Extra pet food (Make sure to bring your pets in and keep the house secured, so they can’t escape)
  • Extra baby supplies: If you have a baby or toddler, make sure you stock extra diapers, formula and medicine just in case.

Have an ICE Plan

Have an ICE (In Case of Emergency) family plan. Make sure every member of the family knows the plan and their role in it. It’s always a good idea to make sure your vehicles are prepared as well, in case an evacuation is necessary. Keep an extra supply of some of the above-mentioned items in your trunk and make sure your car is fully fueled. Make sure to add snow chains to your tires.

Have you weathered a winter storm? Do you have any tips? Leave them in the comments below.

(flickr: wwworks/via: cc)

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