How to Make Your Home Ready for Winter
Is your home ready for winter? I don’t mean mentally prepared, but are you, your family, and your home ready for winter?
How to Make Your Home Ready for Winter
Making sure your home can handle what mother nature brings us is essential. Here’s a checklist of a few of the critical areas to make your home winter-ready.
Clean out your gutters – Full gutters leave (pun intended) nowhere for ice and snow to go, which can lead to roof leaks.
Insulate your water pipes – Any water pipe outside your home, including in your crawlspace, needs completely wrapped in insulation. It’s a good idea to check them for loose or separated insulation.
Have your furnace checked – Hire a certified HVAC provider to check your heating unit. It might also be a good time to change your furnace filter.
Inspect your fireplace and chimney – If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove and plan to use it, you should have it inspected before lighting it up. The Three Levels of Chimney Inspections
Check the batteries in your smoke detector – If you don’t have a CO (Carbon Monoxide) detector, you might consider one.
Check your fire extinguisher – “Like any lifesaving equipment, you want to ensure that it is operable at all times so it will work when you need it most.” — Guide to Fire Extinguisher Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
Looking at your current stockpile of food, fuel, and water, how many days could you last before running out? If it’s less than three days, it’s time to stock up.
Water – Have at least one gallon of water per person per day with a minimum three-day supply.
Food – Stock a minimum three-day supply of nonperishable food.
First aid kit – Many stores carry first-aid kits, you can order one online, or make your own suited to your specific needs. Here’s a list from the Mayo Clinic of what to include in your home first aid kit First aid kit: Stock supplies that can save lives
Emergency Bag – An emergency bag could include a first aid kit, copies of important documents, and critical medications. It also could include anything and everything you need for basic survival in a disaster. Ready.gov — Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
Winter clothing and more – Winter clothing starts with warm layers and ends with waterproof outerwear, boots, hats, gloves, and scarves. You should also have blankets and insulated sleeping bags for every member of your household. If you’d like to read more about personal winter safety, here’s a good article How to Protect Yourself from Winter Weather
Do You Know What the Weather Service Warnings Mean?
“A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set their plans in motion can do so. A watch means that hazardous weather is possible. People should have a plan of action in case a storm threatens, and they should listen for later information and possible warnings especially when planning travel or outdoor activities.
An advisory is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely. Advisories are for less serious conditions than warnings, which cause significant inconvenience and if caution is not exercised, could lead to situations that may threaten life or property.
A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely. A warning means weather conditions pose a threat to life or property. People in the path of the storm need to take protective action.” — National Weather Service — Watch Warning Advisory Explained
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