December 2010 was a cold, snowy month for much of the nation. If that’s a sign of what’s to come, then you need to be sure you’re prepared for the next three months of winter. If you haven’t made winter preparations yet, here’s a list to help you be ready for the next big storm.
1. Be sure your furnace is in tip-top shape. Regularly maintain and clean it and replace the filters as needed. Keep your furnace room clean and uncluttered so that you’re not pulling dirt and dust into your furnace when it kicks on.
2. Check all your windows to be sure you have locked them. It’s easy to forget this little task, and you don’t need cold drafts of air blowing in around the seals.
3. Check the seals on your outside doors. Can you feel drafts blowing in underneath the door? If the door just doesn’t fit properly, purchase a new door if you can; or, if you’re not able to do that, purchase draft stoppers to lay in front of the doors to help prevent the cold air from blowing into your home.
4. Make sure you know where your snow shovels are and that they are in good enough condition to use. While you’re doing that, also make sure that each car has a snow brush/ice scraper in it. You’ll want these snow and ice removal tools handy in the next big storm. If you have a snow blower, fire it up before you need it and have extra gas on hand so that you don’t run out.
5. Be sure you add antifreeze to your car if needed.
6. Assemble the items you need for a winter survival kit to carry in your car. This may sound obvious, but store it where it’s easily accessible—such as on the passenger side in the front seat.
7. Stock up on deicer for your driveway and sidewalks if you use it. Shop around for the best formula for you. Some are more pet- and plant-friendly than others.
8. Clear out your garage so that you can use it for your car. It may be a pain to do it now, but you’ll appreciate it the morning after the blizzard when you don’t have to dig out your car.
9. If you live in the snow belt area and have a job that requires you to be ready at a moment’s notice, consider contracting with a snow removal service. It will save you the hassle and stress of having to shovel out yourself.
10. If you have a fireplace, stock up on firewood just in case of a power outage.
11. Keep some grocery essentials on hand so that you can eat for several days just in case of a bad storm. Be sure you have a fresh supply of batteries for flashlights and a radio.
12. In case of a deep freeze, turn on your water faucets before you go to bed so that the water just trickles out of them. You won’t have to worry about your pipes freezing while you sleep.
Overall, using your common sense and planning ahead will allow you to weather whatever Old Man Winter throws at us this year!