Preparing Your Home For Winter
Temperatures have dropped and it’s only a matter of time before snow begins to fall. It’s time to make sure your home will be secure this winter season.
Prepare Your Family:
- Stay indoors as much as possible during heavy snow.
- Be cautious when walking on snowy and icy walkways.
- Do not overexert yourself when shoveling snow. It is recommended that you stretch before shoveling. Serious injuries or heart attack can occur from overexerting your body.
- Stay as dry as possible. Your wet clothing doesn’t help to insulate your body and transmits the cold much faster.
- Watch for signs of frostbite, which include: loss of feeling in extremities and white or pale color in extremities. If you think you or a loved one may have frost bite, contact medical help immediately.
- Be cautious of hypothermia, which may appear as uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, drowsiness, or exhaustion. If you believe this is occurring, take the victim to a warm place and take off any wet clothes. Warm the center of their body first and contact medical help immediately.
Prepare Your Home:
- Clean out your gutters and disconnect all outdoor hoses.
- Insulate your walls, especially in the attic and basement. You can also use caulk and weather stripping for doors and windows.
- Have a professional inspect your furnace.
- Change windows to storm windows if you have them.
- Repair any roof leaks and remove any tree branches that could fall and potentially damage your home.
- Reverse your ceiling fans to save energy.
- Wrap your water pipes with insulation sleeves to slow heat transfer.
- Use insulated blankets on your hot water heater.
- Close the damper on your fireplace when it is not in use. This saves heat from leaving your home.
- Consider installing a home security system. If a disaster takes place in your home, emergency authorities are immediately notified. Potentially, if a pipe freezes and explodes, your security system company will provide immediate help.
- Consult with a contractor to determine if your roof could potentially hold an abundance of snowfall.
- Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through your pipes in unheated or unprotected areas to keep your pipes from freezing.
Prepare Your Car:
- In a storm, drive only if it is necessary. If you must drive, do it during daylight hours.
- Don’t travel alone and keep others aware of your schedule.
- Stay on the main roads as much as possible, it is much safer for you as the driver.
- Top off your antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, gas, oil, and any other car fluids.
- Make sure your tires have enough tread or consider getting snow tires.
- It is a good idea to store bagged salt in your trunk to give extra traction.
- Clear all snow from your windows, the top of the car, and headlights before driving.
- Keep a cold weather kit in your car in case of an emergency. It should include a blanket or sleeping bag, gloves, a shovel, bottled water, first aid kit, a flashlight, and a phone charger.