The official start of winter is almost here, although many of you may have already been surprised by your first wintry storm this season. Whether you have winterized your home or still need to, here are some tips from The Weather Channel, the Red Cross, and FEMA to make sure you are prepared for the bitter cold this winter.
Winter storms can range from light to moderate snow over a few hours to blizzard-like conditions with blinding snow and dangerously low temperatures that can last for several days. Regardless of the forecast, there are a number of things that you should do to get your home ready for the storm.
Before the Storm
- Stock-up on rock salt or other environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways and driveways and sand to help improve traction for your vehicles.
- Take your snow shovels, snow blowers, or other snow removal equipment out of storage and house in an easily accessible area before each winter storm to make cleaning up after the storm easier.
- If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney and flue inspected at the start of winter each year.
- Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector and make sure that it's operating properly before the storm. In addition, make sure to stock up on extra batteries just in case.
- Institute an emergency plan of action for your family members to make sure everyone can safe in the event of winter storms. Make sure to regularly review your plan of action as well.
Frozen pipes are a common winter aliment that can result in costly repairs. To help save you from this winter problem, the Red Cross recommends some tips to prevent your pipes from freezing before any winter storms hit.
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler following manufacturer's and installer's directions.
- Remove, drain, and store outdoor hoses. Close inside valves that supply outdoor hose bib and open outside hose bibs to allow the water inside to drain. Keep the outside valve open to allow any remaining water in the pipe to expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Insulate water supply lines located in unheated areas such as basements, attics, garages, and underneath kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
During the Storm
- Use extreme caution when operating electric space heaters and keep them several feet away from flammable materials such as drapes, bed sheets, and blankets.
- Make sure your fireplace, wood stove, or similar heating equipment are properly ventilated and are not leaking gas into your home's indoor air space.
- Operate electric generators outdoors. Never operate electric generators indoors, inside garages, or near the air intake of your house because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Be sure to connect the power supply to appliances using heavy-duty, outdoor-ready cords.
After the Storm
- Be extremely careful when driving as snow and ice can melt during the day and refreeze when the temperatures drop below freezing at night.
- If you suspect that your pipes have frozen, call a plumber to inspect the pipes as soon as possible. If a pipe has indeed frozen or burst, immediately shut off your home's water valve to prevent additional damage.
We sincerely hope you and your home stay safe during a major weather event like a winter storm or blizzard. Stay up-to-date on winter storm info on Accuweather.com or Weather.com. And if you’re really concerned about damage, take a look at this write up. In the event your home is damaged, CubeSmart is here to help by providing you with all of your storage solution needs.