Winter Weather Preparedness

Don’t Sweat the Cold. Learn How to Prepare for Winter Weather and What to Do During a Snow Storm.

Along with winter come cozy evenings by the fire and trips to the slopes. But, winter weather also brings a number of risks for you, your family and your property. Pipes can burst. Fireplaces can cause smoke and other damage. And roofs can strain under mounds of snow and ice.

With this winter weather guide, you can pick up a few tips on weathering the cold temperatures and the storms of the season.

Before Winter Arrives

Know What Your Insurance Covers and How Much You Need

Check your homeowners policy to see what’s covered and what deductible you’ve chosen.

Winter Preparation Tips

  • Winter-proof your car with good snow tires or chains, new wiper blades, antifreeze and emergency road supplies.
  • Keep your attic cool to help prevent ice dams.
  • Insulate the attic floor and make sure it’s well ventilated.
  • Don’t overload circuits with holiday decorations.
  • Keep your home stocked with emergency supplies, including food and flashlights.
  • Hire a professional to inspect, clean and repair your fireplace and chimney, if needed, to reduce fireplace risks.
  • Sign up for mobile weather alerts.
  • Ensure all family members have proper cold weather gear.
  • Service your furnace, snow blower and generator, if needed.
  • If your heating source requires any type of fuel, be sure to stock up.
  • Make sure fire extinguishers are on hand and that all family members know how to use them.

During a Winter Storm

Play It Safe When Winter Storms Hit

  • If you don’t have to drive, stay put.
  • If you must drive, make sure you’ve winterized your car and have a full tank of gas and a fully charged phone.
  • When the air’s cold, keep bath and kitchen cabinet doors open so warm air can circulate around pipes.
  • If pipes do freeze, let them thaw normally—they’ll be less likely to burst.
  • If the power’s out, make sure you don’t leave candles or fires burning unattended.
  • If you use a portable generator, follow the instructions, and don’t use it indoors.
  • Ensure any animals on your property are safe.

After a Winter Storm

Winter Storm Damage? Call 1-800-332-3226 to Report an Insurance Claim.

If you experience property damage from winter weather, report it as soon as possible. Safeco is here 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you with homeowners insurance claims and auto insurance claims.

Once the worst of the storm is over and you’ve ensured your family and pets are safe, take steps to:

  • Shovel your sidewalk so your property is safe for others, but take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water to avoid overexertion.
  • Check on neighbors and senior family members who may require help.
  • Clear off fire hydrants and the surrounding area to be sure hydrants are visible to firefighters.
  • Reduce the strain of snow accumulation on top of structures, if possible to safely do so with a roof rake.
  • Tune in to radio or TV broadcasts for information on road and weather conditions.
  • Completely brush or scrape snow and ice off your car before driving.
  • Conserve heat by keeping curtains or blinds closed and by closing the doors to rarely used rooms, especially if your heat source goes out.
  • If you’re active outdoors, cover your body from head to toe and change out of any wet clothes immediately.
  • Ensure outdoor animals have adequate shelter and water that is not frozen.
  • Find temporary shelter, if needed, by texting SHELTER and your zip code to 43362 (4FEMA).

Your homeowners policy, auto policy and even your umbrella policy can offer additional protection from the perils of winter. Has it been a while since you reviewed your coverage? Schedule some time to talk with your local Safeco agent to be sure you understand your coverage limits so you’re every bit as protected as you need to be.

© 2015 Liberty Mutual Insurance, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116

Insurance is offered by Safeco Insurance Company of America and/or its affiliates, with their principal place of business at 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. This website provides a simplified description of coverage. Nothing stated herein creates a contract. All statements made are subject to the provisions, exclusions, conditions and limitations of the applicable insurance policy. Please refer to actual policy forms for complete details regarding the coverage discussed. If the information in these materials conflicts with the policy language that it describes, the policy language prevails. Coverages and features not available in all states. Eligibility is subject to meeting applicable underwriting criteria.