How To Prepare For Cold Weather

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December 27, 2013

Many of us are already in the throes of winter, but if you’ve yet to be hit by winter’s chill or need a handy to-do list for next year, here are some tips about preparing for the cold.

1. Clothing

Wear extra layers! Remember to keep the layers looser rather than tighter. Wearing tight clothing can restrict circulation. Keep extra coats, scarves, warm hats, and gloves in your car. If you get caught in a snow storm, you’ll need these to stay warm.

2. Roof

Have your roof checked annually for weak areas and make any repairs necessary. Be sure your roof could handle the weight of any potential snowfall.

3. Car

Have your heating system checked BEFORE the cold hits. Few things are worse than driving in the cold with a car that won’t heat up. Make sure your tires are ready for ice and snow by double checking their tread thickness, packing snow chains, or swapping your usual tires for snow tires. Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times. Pack an auto emergency kit in the trunk- you never know when you might need it!

4. Fire Safety

Using alternative heat sources like space heaters increase the chance of fire in your home. Keep fire extinguishers on hand and double check your smoke detector batteries.

5. Pipes

Insulate pipes with some form of insulation to keep them from freezing. Remember to let your faucets drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing, as well.

6. Home

Just like with your pipes, you need to insulate your home. Doing so will help cut down on your utility bill and extend the life of your fuel supply. Insulate walls and attics as much as possible. Caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows as well as covering windows with plastic can make a huge difference.

7. Water

Avoid letting your stored water freeze. The expanded, frozen water can ruin the storage containers your water is kept in.

8. Food Storage

Having food storage can provide a peaceful state of mind as you anticipate the winter months. It can be a saving grace if you are ever snowed in and can also be a great help to your friends, family, or neighbors who may not have been as well prepared.

9. Heat Sources

Be sure to have a secondary option for heating your house and cooking your meals. You don’t want to be stuck in the cold with no way to keep warm or cook.

10. Blankets

Have an ample supply of blankets for those extra cold nights. Better to layer on a few more blankets, than turn the thermostat up.

By doing these simple things, you cannot just endure winter, but enjoy it! Find what areas you can improve in and make a plan to make it happen!