With the end of the year comes several things: holidays, time spent with loved ones, gearing up for a new year and a dramatic change of weather. You’ve already prepared for the holidays, but are you ready for the next big snowstorm? Find out how to prepare for a snowstorm, so that you, your family and your home stay protected this winter.
Basic Snowstorm Preparedness
The basic snowstorm preparedness that will help keep your family and yourself safe starts with the following steps:
- Create an emergency kit with all the supplies you and your family might need during a disaster. Keep the kit in an easy to access location in your home. If you already have an emergency kit, add the following snow-related items:
- Rock salt or other products to melt ice on walkways.
- Sand to sprinkle on the snow and improve your traction, in the event you need to walk through it.
- Snow shovels and/or other snow removal equipment, in case you need to exit through a snow-blocked door.
- Heating fuel. If a snowstorm is strong enough, your regular fuel sources might be cut off. Make sure you have ample dry, seasoned wood to use in your fireplace.
- Enough clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
- Make an emergency communications plan. If you listen to the news or stay up to date with local weather changes, you should have been given plenty of time to prepare for a snowstorm. However, in the event that your family members aren’t together when a storm hits, it’s crucial for everyone to know how to get in contact with one another and where you should meet once the weather clears.
Preparing Your Home for a Snowstorm
There are several things you should do to prepare your home and surroundings prior to a snowstorm, too, including:
- Clean up outside. Anything you leave outside will get lost or buried by a lot of fresh snow, so bring everything you want to protect or need access to inside as soon as possible.
- Make sure your home will stay warm – especially if your typical fuel sources are cut off – by properly insulating walls and caulking and weatherstripping doors and windows.
- Insulate your home’s pipes so they don’t freeze and burst in cold weather.
- Clear your rain gutters of debris regularly to avoid more damage during a snowstorm.
- Sweep your chimneys and have them inspected every year to ensure they can effectively warm your home without the risk of chimney fire.
- Have your roof inspected to make sure it can handle the weight of accumulating snow this season. If it appears weak or structurally unsafe, repair your roof early to avoid future damage during a storm.