If you live in a part of the country where the snow does more than provide a light dusting during the winter, you may need to do more than follow standard tips for getting your home ready for the colder months.
Although it can be fun to construct a snow fort and big snow people from several inches of snow, there can be issues in your home. Plus, you'll be in for even more of a headache if you're snowed in your house.
An oncoming blizzard warrants preparation if you want to ensure your house is still standing after it's over and your family is comfortable during the ordeal. Consider ordering a property inspection to determine the condition of your house if you know a harsh winter is coming. The professional will review several areas of your home, including your roof, which can cave in under the pressure of heavy snow if it isn't in the best shape.
In addition to checking your home's structural integrity, review this shopping list that can help you during a blizzard:
- Generator: There's a chance the power in your house will go out during a blizzard. With no power source, your heat and other crucial systems won't work, and the temperature will rapidly drop. Use a portable generator to keep your family warm. Just make sure the machine is vented to the outside.
- Emergency radio and lights: Given the fuel needs of a generator, you'll have to limit its use to essential functions. However, you'll need to see in your dark home and remain aware of the weather conditions. Pick up an emergency radio and lights that are powered by a hand crank.
- Window sealing supplies: If your generator runs out of gas, you'll need to keep any remaining heat in your home and cold air out. Purchase materials for sealing windows, including caulk and clear film that can be adhered with double-sided tape and sealed with a hair dryer.
- Pipe insulation: Without heat, your pipes will get cold. To reduce the chance of a burst pipe, ensure your plumbing is properly insulated.
- Extra blankets: If your furnace is not working, wrap up in a ton of blankets to stay warm.
- Food: Blizzards may stop road traffic, but they can't halt hunger. When you shop for food at the grocery store, look for nonperishable items that don't need to be cooked. Also, stock up for several days, as there's a chance you could be snowed in for a few days depending on the severity of the storm.
- Games and other entertainment: In the event you are trapped in your house for a week, you don't want to be bored. Keep a deck of cards and some board games in your home to stay entertained.
- Shovel: Once the blizzard is over, you'll have to clear your driveway and walkway. There's also a chance you'll be digging yourself out of your house. Keep a shovel by your door in case this happens.
- Snow blower: These machines are great for moving a lot of snow in a short amount of time. If you have a detached garage or shed, you may need your shovel to clear a path to your snow blower, but the journey will be worthwhile once you fire up the engine. Make sure you save enough gas to get it running.
- Rock salt: After you've cleared the snow from your driveway and walkway, lay down some rock salt. Doing so will help prevent a layer of ice from forming.