Monday December 16, 2013
It happens every year, and no matter how long you mentally prepare for it, it still catches you off-guard. You guessed it: the first snowfall.
There could be just a dusting of snow on the ground and the kids are already grabbing their snow boots and gear. Before everyone heads out to enjoy the weather, though, make sure your home and family are prepared for Ol’ Man Winter with these top 10 tips:
- Buy a snow shovel, or two– keep sidewalks and front steps clear so no one slips and falls. The more shovels you have the more help you can recruit to get the job done.
- Stock up on de-icing compound– after shoveling, throw down a layer of de-icer and reapply after each snowfall. There are some great pet safe brands like: Safe Paw, Morton Safe-T-Pet, and Pet Guard.
- Pull out the waterproof floor mats– you don’t want to bring in the wetness, which can then cause mold build-up in your home.
- If you have a chimney, call the chimney sweep– burning wood releases volatile gasses that cool and condense on the inside of your chimney, forming a highly flammable creosote – which puts you at a big risk of a chimney fire.
- Put your ceiling fan in reverse– warm air rises, and if your fan is moving clockwise, the rotation of the blades forces warm air down – keeping you warm.
- Wash those windows– washing your windows twice per year will reward you with a sparkling view of the outdoors, and allow you the opportunity to check for cracks and damaged caulking. Fix these issues before the temperature drops too low.
- While you’re working on cleaning your windows, apply some weather stripping.According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 10 percent of the air that leaks out of a house exits through the windows.
- Get out there and clean out your gutters– fallen leaves and debris can pile up and cause backups in your drainage.
- Don’t forget about your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors– replace batteries now and have a stockpile ready in case you get snowed-in and/or lose power.
- Have your furnace inspected– you could still have power and be snowed-in, so be sure your furnace is in proper working order. Routinely vacuuming out dust and debris and changing your filter will help keep your furnace in tip-top shape.
Also, we’d be remiss if we did not share these basic indoor emergency kit essentials:
- Food that doesn’t require heating or refrigeration (canned meats, soups and stews, cereal and energy bars are a good start)
- Paper plates, cups and cutlery
- 1 gallon of water per person per day (1-5 days is a good start)
- First aid kit
- Plenty of blankets and cold-weather clothing for all family members
- And don’t forget your four-legged family members – stock up on extra water and food for Sparky, too!