It’s amazing how quickly time passes. One day, the kids are playing in the sprinkler and the next, the autumn leaves remind us that fall has come. Before we know it, there’s a distinct chill in the air and winter is upon us. The time to get prepared for winter is well before we reach for another log to throw on the fire and well before Old Jack Frost blows a chill through the air and summons up the frost. When it comes to your home, some thoughtful planning can go a long way and make the difference between a cozy, comfortable winter and an arduous wintertime experience.
For example, while we cannot predict the weather, we can prepare for a winter storm. Depending
upon where you reside, there can be serious potential outdoor safety threats to you and your family. Most of these hazards can be circumvented with some planning, preparation and the gathering of some basic supplies. Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of space for extra supplies. You can make a winter storm bearable with a few things kept in the kitchen, or a dedicated storage area such as the garage or shed. As long as you can reach them in a time of need, you’ll feel better knowing you’re prepared. Here are just a few cool weather hazards and possible supplies to have available as winter approaches:
While it can be fun to skate or slide on ice, walking on icy driveways, stairs and sidewalks certainly isn’t fun and can be quite dangerous. The potential for slips and falls is very real when heavy traffic areas ice up. For areas that gather ice, have some rock salt on hand and be sure to stock up well before winter as most folks are aware of rock salt’s ability to melt the ice. Sprinkling salt on high traffic areas can make a big difference for safety.
Snow can pile up outside of your home and usually the plows only handle the street. If you have a snow shovel, you can move the snow off your driveway and home’s path and be on your way. If you don’t have a dedicated snow shovel, consider at least having basic garden tools to help get the snow moved.
Having the power go out can be scary for anyone, but particularly frightening for children. Have candles and flashlights on hand and make sure even the youngest in the family knows where to grab a flashlight (the adults can take care of the matches and candles).
Basic Storm Preparation:
A winter storm can make getting outdoors impossible and make travel unsafe. Stock up on necessities to keep everyone safe and warm. Keep non-perishable food items on hand, extra blankets, along with utensils, napkins, plates and a can opener. Don’t forget about your pets and make sure you have pet food in your food supply.
Another thing to have on hand is drinking water. If the pipes freeze during a storm, drinking water may not be available, and water flies off the shelves so have drinking water in stock and ward off dehydration. Also, to keep the kids busy, it is paramount to grab some books and games to keep them occupied should a storm sequester the family indoors.
Take steps to winterize your home’s heating and cooling system. A professional experienced in furnace repair and heating and cooling systems can help you maintain a comfortable temperature during winter (and summer) without spending a fortune on energy costs. During the winter chill, an aged or dirty furnace or heating system can drain energy and be expensive.
Finding a trusted heating and cooling expert to inspect your home’s heating and cooling system can help save you money. They can check for leaks, provide repairs and regular maintenance on your home’s furnace, boiler, and water heater. As the weather turns warmer, this same heating and cooling professional can become a trusted partner you can rely on for any needed air conditioning repairs.
Don’t let the change of seasons get the best of you or drain your energy and monetary resources. With a bit of planning, you and your family can enjoy the cooler weather and survive a winter storm in comfort.