Extreme weather doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, the last thing you want to do is face it unprepared. A little preparation in advance can help you make it through any severe snow storm or another type of winter storm. Every home should have an emergency kit that's stocked with emergency essentials to help you if the power goes out or if you're snowed in.
If you're wondering how to prepare your home for snow storms, here are some things you can do to get started. Remember, you don't have to do all these things at once if you're on a limited budget, but try to add to your winter storm emergency kit every week or month as you can. It's best to do this in the months leading up to winter, so you're prepared by the time the first snowflakes fall.
Inspect Your Home for Leaks
During the winter season, you don't want any of the precious warm air inside your home to escape through leaky windows or poorly insulated doorways. So before cold weather hits, check all your windows and doors for potential leaks. If you can see any light coming around window seals or door jambs, it means hot air can escape your home, and cold air can come in.
To get rid of leaks, put weather stripping around your doors and windows as needed. You can also fill any visible cracks in your attic with foam insulation to keep warm air inside. If you live in an area where severe winter weather hits, you can also consider installing storm windows; they can help reduce air movement into and out of existing windows, helping to improve comfort and reduce heating costs.
Add Insulation as Needed
Many homes are insufficiently insulated for expected weather conditions. If your home doesn't have sufficient insulation, hire someone to install more insulation for you. Common places to install insulation include crawl spaces, attics, and garages. You may also wish to install more insulation on your own if you're a handy do-it-yourselfer. Additional insulation can make it easier for you to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, even amidst a heavy snow storm. Finally, remember to insulate pipes; when a pipe freezes and burst, it can cause significant and costly damage to your property.
Invest in a Quality Snow Shovel
You'll need a snow shovel to help you clear your driveway in case you need to leave your home during a winter storm. Unfortunately, not all snow shovels are made to handle heavy snow loads, so make sure you invest in the best snow shovel you can find.
You can also use sodium chloride or magnesium chloride to melt the ice in your driveway and on your walkways. This will reduce your risk of falling and injuring yourself during a snow storm. Magnesium chloride is a good option because it's pet-friendly and won't hurt your pet's paws. If shoveling is too complicated or you have a large area to clear, you can choose a snow blower instead.
Have Flashlights Ready
You never know when a winter storm will take out the power to your home. To prepare for such an event, you'll want to have flashlights stored in a place where you can easily access them. Make sure your flashlights are equipped with fresh batteries and that you have extra batteries available to replace as needed.
It's wise to have multiple sources of light during winter weather. In addition to battery-powered flashlights, consider investing in oil storm lanterns and/or emergency power stations that can keep your flashlights and phones powered during a power outage.
Keep Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Smoke Detectors in Your Home
Many people use propane-powered heaters to help them get through power outages caused by severe storms. While such heaters can be life-saving, they need quality attention. Indoor heaters have been known to cause carbon monoxide poisoning or house fires.
To protect yourself from both of these scenarios, purchase several carbon monoxide detectors and several smoke detectors. Make sure you have sufficient batteries to replace any that go dead over time. It would be best if you have a carbon monoxide and smoke detector located in every room of your home. These detectors have testing functions that allow you to test them periodically to ensure they are still in good working condition.
Create a Car Emergency KitThere may be a time when you find yourself stranded in your car in a severe winter storm. In times like this, you'll want to have a car emergency kit with you. Your life could depend on it.
To create your car emergency kit list, consider the types of things you'd need to have on-hand if you were stuck in your car on the side of the road for several days. For example, you'd want to have a first aid kit, warm clothes, a source of light, an emergency blanket, and enough emergency food and water to last you several days. You'll also want to have an extra battery to charge your cell phone, so you have a way to communicate with others during severe weather conditions.
Find Your Snow Storm Essentials at Max Warehouse
At Max Warehouse, you can find all the snow storm essentials you need to get through a few days without power in hazardous winter weather. To begin compiling and keeping track of your emergency essentials, create an account with Max Warehouse today.