While nerve-wracking, a winter storm is nothing to be afraid of, especially if you’re prepared. Follow this preparing for a storm checklist to ensure you’re ready for anything when the snow starts falling and the wind picks up.
Make sure everyone is on the same page.
Keeping everyone in your household in the know is the best start to winter storm prep. Sit down with the entire family and discuss what to do in the event of inclement weather. You should also show everyone where emergency items are located and assign small children a “buddy” to stick with. You should also make a plan for communicating with family members if you happen to be away from home when a storm hits. Making sure everyone feels prepared will keep panic at a minimum.
Winterize your car.
You may need to move locations during a winter storm, or you may be in transit when it hits. This is why it’s important to make sure that your car is up to the job. At the start of the season, visit your mechanic and have them top off all fluids and inspect areas like the battery and windshield wipers for wear and tear. It’s also crucial that your tire treads are capable of handling snow and ice. In some areas, chains or snow tires may be appropriate.
You’ll also want to stock your car with a few supplies:
• A windshield scraper
• A small bag of sand or non-clumping kitty litter
• Emergency blankets and warm clothing
• A red cloth to tie to the antenna
You should also keep a mostly full tank of gas at all times.
Gather household supplies.
When gathering supplies, be sure to stock up well in advance. Stores can run out of items like bottled water quickly in the event of an impending storm. Here are some basics to have on hand:
• Flashlights for each member of the family
• Plenty of batteries in a variety of sizes
• A three-day supply of nonperishable food and bottled water for each family member
• Battery-powered radio
• Cell phone charger that operates on batteries, solar power or some other non-electric source
• Wipes, hand sanitizer and paper products
• Extra blankets and warm clothing
• Firewood and matches (if you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove)
• Rock salt, ice-melt or similar
Protect your home.
Some of the most expensive damage to your home occurs during instances of extreme cold. One of the most important things you can do for your home when the power goes out is to keep your pipes warm. This helps prevent burst pipes and extensive repairs. At the start of winter storm season, take the time to wrap pipes in insulation. You can also open cabinet doors to let warm air circulate and turn on all faucets so that they drip and water can keep flowing.
A healthy roof is crucial year-round, but it becomes especially important in the winter. In the fall, we recommend hiring an NPI inspector to help identify any weak areas and suggest repairs. They can also inspect your attic’s structure and insulation to make sure that warm air won’t escape and create ice dams.
You also might consider purchasing a generator to help with long-term storm prep. A generator can keep your heat and power running, and it can even be programmed to kick on as soon as a power outage occurs. Available in a wide variety of sizes and prices, generators are recognized as a smart investment that can sometimes earn you a break on home insurance costs.
Make room for pets.
If you have pets, you’ll want to keep extra supplies on hand. Make sure they have plenty of food, water and blankets. You should also have puppy pads, cat litter and cleaning supplies on hand for any bathroom accidents if your pets are used to being let outside frequently.
Hiring a National Property Inspections inspector can help you prepare your home for a winter storm. Look for an inspector in your area today to protect your biggest investment—your home.