Whether meteorologists are predicting a winter storm of epic proportions or an insignificant snow flurry, it’s wise to be prepared. Take care of these 7 tasks before the next snowpocalypse to ensure that you don’t get caught in the cold.
Winterize Your Home
Before the snow starts to fall, finish up cold-weather maintenance tasks around the house. Insulate pipes, walls, and attics as needed, paying particular attention to pipes on your home’s exterior. Trim back branches that could fall on your property during a storm, and weatherstrip doors and windows to keep cold air out.
Related: 10 Surprising Tips and Tricks for Dealing with Ice and Snow
Put Together an Emergency Kit
Excessive snowfall could trap you in the house for a while, so gather any supplies you and your family (and pets!) may need—enough to last at least three days. Include basics like food and water, a first aid kit, a radio, flashlights, batteries, and a backup battery charger for your phone.
Related: Prep for Disaster: 10 Things You'll Need in a Home Emergency
Plan Family Communications
If you’re expecting a substantial storm, figure out a communication plan with your family. Discuss possible places to meet, including one spot outside of your neighborhood, in case you need to evacuate the area. Make sure everyone has important phone numbers and emergency contacts.
Related: The 8 Best Tools for Conquering Ice and Snow
Gather Additional Heat Sources
If the power goes out, your family will lose its primary heat source. To keep everyone as comfortable as possible, collect extra blankets and warm clothing to fend off the chill. Also make sure that you have supplies for alternative heating: kindling for wood fireplaces, fuel for kerosene heaters, and cords for a generator.
Related: 9 Sneaky Ways to Cut Your Home Heating Bills
Prevent Roof Collapse
Snow can quickly accumulate on a house, potentially leading to ice dams, leaks, or even a roof collapse. Have your roof inspected before winter to ensure that it’s not damaged or decayed, and make repairs as necessary.
Related: 7 Signs You Need a New Roof
Service Your Vehicle
Despite careful planning, you may find yourself on the road during treacherous weather. To prepare for these challenging driving conditions, have a mechanic check out your vehicle before winter hits. The service should include checking antifreeze levels and inspecting the tread on your tires. Always keep an emergency kit in the trunk, and consider paying for roadside assistance memberships that could help out if your car stalls or gets stuck on the road.
Related: 10 Things You Never Thought to Keep in Your Car
Play It Safe
When it comes to winter weather, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Before the temperature drops, have your home's heating equipment inspected by a professional, check batteries in smoke alarms, and install carbon monoxide detectors if you don’t already have them (carbon monoxide-related deaths peak in the winter months). Keep fire extinguishers handy, and make sure your whole family knows where to find them and how to use them.
Related: 8 Quick Tips for Solving Winter Woes
After the Storm
When you’re ready to start digging out, follow these helpful shoveling tips. They’ll save you from aching back pain and speed up the chilly chore.
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!