If you live in a place subjected to severely cold winters, you already know how important it is to keep winter woes at bay. You’ll always be glad that you spent some time preparing for worst case scenarios if an unexpected storm rolls in. Follow the steps below to get prepared ahead of time, in case of a winter power outage that may last several days.
Winter Woes Checklist
- First, check flashlights and battery-powered portable radios to ensure they’re working and always keep extra batteries in the house.
- Get emergency heating equipment (such as a gas fireplace, wood burning stove or fireplace) and stock up on fuel to keep one room livable. Make sure that room is well ventilated.
- Do everything possible to keep cold air out and heat inside. Caulk cracks or weather-strip window frames and exterior doors. Cover windows with plastic from the inside to insulate them.
- Wrap pipes and let faucets trickle to avoid freezing. Frozen pipes are the number one casualty of cold weather, as pipe bursts can lead to thousands of dollars in flood damage. Wrapping basement and crawl space pipes with insulation is an easy solution to help prevent this. If temperatures dip below freezing, help your pipes out by opening cabinet doors to allow warm air to flow around them; let your faucet drip just a bit to keep water moving.
- Fill your bathtub and some spare containers with water. Use bathtub water for flushing the toilet and bathing. Drinking water should come from the containers.
- Close doors as quickly as possible if you must go out and be very careful to avoid slips and falls. Dress for the weather in layers, rather than simply relying on a heavy coat.
- Trim tree branches away from your roof. Take care to trim overhanging branches away from your roof or hire a tree service to remove any threatening branches from the perimeter of your house, driveway, and yard.
- Keep an extra supply of critical medications on hand and make sure they’re properly stored to maintain potency.
Prepare your emergency kits
Release your inner Boy or Girl Scout and keep a stash of supplies ready for any winter weather disasters. It’s a great idea to keep an emergency kit in your home, as well as in your vehicles.
Include items such as:
- Road salt
- Non-perishable food and water bottles
- Phone charging cords
- First-Aid kit
- Hand warmers
- Sleeping bags and blankets
- Extra cash
- Important medications
TIP: If you don’t have the time to make your own emergency kit, the Red Cross online store sells premade emergency kits.
Finally, reach out to us to ensure that you have adequate homeowners insurance protection in place before any of these winter woes strike.