Get Ready for Winter Storms
Fall is upon us and now is the perfect time to start thinking and planning for winter storms. Fall can be a short lived season, with starkly lower temperatures and winter weather that moves in quickly. While you’re enjoying the cool temperatures and beautiful colors, start thinking about getting your home prepared for winter storms. From below freezing temperatures to snowstorms that cause power outages, preparing yourself for winter requires planning early and assessing your home for cold weather resilience. Here are a few top tips to help you get your winter storm preparation underway.
One of the first and most important steps you can take to prep for winter weather is to check your home’s insulation. This means ensuring that the insulation is the appropriate R-value and is installed to the right depth. It also means checking the sealants around the doors and windows. A lot of heat can be lost through poorly sealed or unsealed openings around these areas. Add tension seals or magnetic weatherstripping to doors and windows to keep cold air out and increase your energy efficiency. Also, insulate pipes with some foam material to help prevent them from freezing. Staying warm in the winter is obviously very important, so making sure that your home is retaining the heat that you are using is an essential step in preparing for winter weather.
Create a Preparation Kit
If a winter storm knocks out power or otherwise makes getting out of your home difficult or impossible, you will need to be self-sustaining. An emergency preparedness kit is an ideal way to maintain provisions for a severe storm. Things like food and water are always important supplies to have on hand, but consider putting together a more extensive preparation kit. Include items like: flashlights, batteries, radios, first aid kits, coats, and blankets, among other things. Having a power generator can also be useful if your area is subject to regular power outages during storms. The point here is to be prepared for the worst and never underestimate a powerful winter storm.
Inspect Your Furnace
In the winter, heat is everything. The last thing you want is compromised furnace once the snow starts blowing. This fall while the weather is still pleasant, inspect your furnace carefully. Check the fan belt running to the blower, clean out dust and debris, and change the filters. If you know your furnace is outdated and on it’s last leg, upgrade now rather than risking a furnace failure once the weather turns really cold. Like most truths in life, early preparation and prevention is the best way to keep yourself out of trouble. When it comes to disaster prep and winter storm awareness, this is never truer.
Prepare to Address Damages
Winter storms can cause structural damage to your home and interior damage as a result of things like burst pipes. Its important, therefore, to have a plan to address any damages from a storm. This can mean having extra plumbing supplies and building materials on hand to knowing who you can call on short notice to handle a disaster situation. Follow local weather forecasts during a storm and have a contingency plan for getting out of the house. In the case of a serious winter snowstorm, good shovels, a snowblower, snowshoes, and chains for your vehicle tires are all essentials and may become even more so when your home and surrounding area is buried in snow.