Winter is coming and that means you need to get ready. If you live in an area that gets bad winters, it’s important that you prepare.
Here are just two reasons why. First of all, winter storms caused an estimated $1 billion in losses in 2016. Plus, the winter cold kills more than twice as many Americans as does summer heat.
For these reasons and many more, it’s important that you prepare for a bad winter. Keep reading for 7 tips to help you out.
1. Get Your Outdoor Hardware In Order
First and foremost, it’s important that you get the outdoor hardware you need. While you probably know the exact essentials you need inside, like milk, toilet paper, and water, what about the outside of your home?
You’ll want to have shovels, snowblowers, ice melting salt, and plenty of cold weather clothing on hand.
The last thing you want to do is have to run to the hardware store during a bad winter storm, only to find empty shelves and long lines. It’s better to stock up now.
And this is just one way to prep for winter storms. Check out these additional winter storm safety tips.
2. Prevent Frozen Pipes
We’ve all heard horror stories about pipes freezing in the winter cold. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you this year with a little preparation.
Depending how cold it gets in your area, you can insulate your pipes with heating tape or foam insulation. It’s also a good idea to repair any drafty gaps that are close to your pipes.
You should also blow out your sprinkler system if you have one as well as your air conditioner pipes. This will ensure that you have working plumbing all winter long.
3. Get Your Flu Shot
Another common winter issue: the flu.
For the best shot of avoiding this annoying sickness, it’s a good idea to get a flu shot. You can get this at your doctor’s office or at most pharmacies starting in October. If you have insurance, the cost is usually covered.
Make sure your entire household gets their shot for maximum protection. And while you’re with your doctor, get any prescriptions you need so you can avoid having to go in bad weather.
4. Avoid Carbon Monoxide Mishaps
Carbon monoxide, also known as the silent killer, is an odor and colorless gas that can quickly poison you if you’re not careful.
To prevent this, start by installing high-quality carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home. But this is just the beginning.
As the winter months are approaching, also take a look at your vents and chimneys. Make sure they are unobstructed by removing any excess leaves, shrubs, or other debris.
If vents and chimneys are blocked, exhaust can get trapped inside your home which can cause major damage quickly.
5. Prep Your Car for the Cold
Next, it’s crucial to think about your car. Apart from your home, you spend the most time in your vehicle.
It’s important that your cars are ready for winter weather.
Start by making sure you have good tires. In some areas, it’s a good idea to get chains put on them for the snowy months.
Additionally, check your battery and alternator to make sure they are in good condition. If not, the cold temperatures can cause them to malfunction.
Another good idea? Having a first aid kit in your vehicle. Keep heavy blankets, hand warmers, and an emergency phone as well as a stash of food and water.
6. Don’t Forget about Winter Clothing
T-shirt weather has come and gone and it’s time to think about what you’ll wear to get you through the bad winter nice and warm.
Start by getting sturdy basics for each of your family members. This means a good coat, pair of gloves, and snow boots.
You’ll also want a winter hat, a few jackets, and lots of socks.
As you’re dressing in the winter, remember the concept of layers. If you’re going outside, start with a t-shirt, then add a jacket, and finish with a winter coat, for example.
This way, you can adjust your clothing as the temperature changes throughout the day.
If you have kids, make sure to keep a backup stash of gloves and hats. It’s common for these to get lost at school.
7. Clean the Roof and the Gutters
Last but not least, you should think about your roof and gutters. With so much rain, hail, and snow, these elements of your home need to be prepared to keep your family safe during the colder months.
Take some time before the first snowfall to clean your roof of debris and moss. But don’t stop there. Make sure there aren’t any cracks or holes that will lead to a leak.
When it comes to gutters, check for weak spots. In a super windy storm, these will be the first to go.
Another good idea–check that your gutters are free of leaves. If fall leaves have clogged your gutters, they’ll be pretty useless come winter storms.
Prepping for a Bad Winter: Closing Thoughts
Now that you’ve read all about how to prepare for a bad winter, what’s next? It’s time to put these ideas into practice.
Think about which of these apply most to your situation and create a plan to implement them as soon as possible.
This way, you’ll be ready for winter 2020.
Want to learn more? Check out our blog for more tips and tricks to help you live your best life.