Winter Is Coming – Get Your Home and Family Ready

Posted by Safeco November 17, 2014

Tips to Prepare for Winter Weather

Cold weather tip: Ensure you have the right items – and fit – in your winter closet before the big chill sets in.

Winter isn’t yet here – officially – but many areas of the country are beginning to feel the chill.

If you live in a winter storm zone, it’s time to dig out the sweaters, boots and snow shovels so they’re handy once the temperature drops and the snow begins to fall.

To get you ready for winter weather, here are some tips on preparing your home and your family for the cold, snow and whatever else may be coming your way.

Seasonal Tasks for Your Home

  • Insulate and inspect. Wrap water pipes, especially those along outside walls, in insulation. Just be sure the pipes are clean and dry first. Hire a chimney sweep to inspect your chimney, and open the flue before starting a fire. Be sure your carbon monoxide detector is working, and add weather stripping to windows and doors.
  • Get ready to clear the sidewalks. Check that your snow shovel or snow blower is still in good shape. If not, purchase a new one or have it repaired now to avoid the rush at the hardware store when the first big storm of the season hits. Also stock up on sand or kitty litter to spread over slick areas outdoors.
  • Restock your emergency supplies. Set aside enough water and food (think high-calorie and non-perishable) to get you through an extended power outage – this goes for both the people and animals in your household. Be sure you also have enough blankets, flashlights and batteries, as well as a battery-powered or hand-crank radio.

Winter Preparation for Your Family

  • Ensure winter clothes still fit. It’s time to drag out the winter wear, including boots, coats and gloves, and determine what’s too small or too worn out and needs to be replaced. If you have things you no longer need that are still in good shape, donate them to a local organization or clothing drive.
  • Set guidelines on working outdoors. Remind family members, whether they live with you or not, just how physically demanding shoveling snow can be. Recommend that they take plenty of breaks to rest and warm up, stay hydrated and alert someone at once if they have overexerted themselves and aren’t recovering. Make arrangements now for hiring someone to clear snow for your senior family members.
  • Create a safe environment for pets. If your furry family members will be spending a lot of time outside this winter, create a warm, draft-free shelter where they can get out of the weather. Also dig out some old towels so you’re ready to clean your dogs’ paws after a walk in the snow – salt and other snow-melting chemicals are irritants.

When you’ve taken the necessary steps to prepare, winter weather will be a whole lot easier to handle – you might even enjoy the change of scenery. However, if you find yourself unprepared, be sure to seek help and shelter at once.

Get more tips on winterizing your home, and learn about wireless emergency alerts and what to put in your emergency kit – all from the Safeco Blog.

Share Your Tips
How do you prepare for winter? Tell us in the comments below.

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