With the winter solstice right about the corner, it is time to nail down what should be on your list in order to prep your home for winter. Winter can bring with it damaging ice storms, blizzards and power outages and it is important to have all the items on hand you will need to ride them out.
Don’t be caught unprepared, here are some things you should consider when preparing your winter prep list:
The beauty of having non-perishable food items is that it will not go bad when the power goes out. This is important to think about when you prep your home for winter because having a reliable food source can mean the difference between making it out of the storm and not. You can store canned produce, granola and even meat without any refrigeration. Make sure you have enough food on hand for everyone in the household, including baby formula for any babies and pet food for any animals you take care of.
Health and safety
Your home should always have a stocked first aid kit, but you should make sure that you have everything you need during these months in case the snow prevents you from leaving. If you know a storm is coming, refill any prescriptions and medications you might need during this time. Also, stock up on salt and sand to add traction on your walkway and driveways to prevent any falls.
Candles are not a good option for emergency light because they are a fire hazard. In fact, lit candles starting house fires is one of the top causes of death during power outages. They do not produce a very strong light and can easily be tripped over and cause a bigger problem. In order to prep your home for winter, stock up on battery operated or rechargeable flashlights and lanterns.
Emergency heat sources
Turning on the stove for heat is not your safest option. If your heat goes out, make sure you have extra blankets, a fireplace that is up to code, and a portable space heater. Use a space heater that has automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements for safety reasons. Try and keep any superfluous items away from your heat source, and drapes and furniture at least three feet away.
Just in case there is a power failure, make sure you have at least one of the following items: A cell phone with a portable charger and extra batteries or a battery powered radio with extra batteries. Find out how your community warns the public about severe weather, whether that is a siren, radio, television alert, or local websites. Make a family communication plan because you may not all be together when a winter storm hits.
When temperatures drop below freezing, leave all water taps slightly open so they can drip constantly and not freeze. Keep the temperature inside your house warm and allow more heated air near pipes and open the cabinet doors under your sink to allow heat in. If your pipes do freeze, do not thaw them with a torch. They will slowly thaw over time with warm air from a hairdryer.
Winter can bring some of the most brutal weather to a majority of the U.S., but with these tips, you can not only prep your home for winter but also your family and neighbors for what these cold months might bring. If you haven’t already, sign up for text message alerts from Civil Dispatch. These alerts will notify you of any severe winter weather headed your way!