How to Prepare for a Winter Storm
It’s that season again. Mother Nature is ready to surprise us with a little ice and snow — maybe more than a little. We’ll help you weather the storm and hunker down in comfort with our winter storm tips for your home.
Let’s start by reviewing some helpful reminders that can help you well in advance of the storm. Then we’ll look at storm tips that make you feel secure when a storm is on the horizon.
Winter Weather Tips to Help You Prepare
Know the weather terms. The National Weather Service announced in 2017 that it is simplifying its weather terms. They will also start displaying information in a bulleted form to quickly answer your “what, when and where” questions. Look for the following alerts:
- Winter Storm Watch. This means that there’s potential for freezing rain, heavy snow, sleet or lake effect snow. They want to emphasize that there is potential and it could cause high impact.
- Winter Weather Advisory. When this advisory is issued you should expect freezing rain, snow, sleet and lake effect snow. This is for when the weather is expected and it will cause an inconvenience.
- Winter Storm Warning. This is the most severe alert they issue and it signifies that they expect high impact winter weather. This includes ice storms and blizzards with heavy snow, sleet and lake effect snow.
Invest in a weather radio. Keep a battery operated weather radio at home so you can stay updated on weather and clean up progress.
Winterize your home. Do your annual exterior walk around to make sure your home is secure and sound. Inside your home — have your furnace serviced, take care of any leaks, prep your pipes for potential freezes, and get your fireplace in order for the season.
Stock up. You don’t need to fill your pantry to the brim as you most likely won’t be snowbound for long. But it’s a good idea to have some extra batteries, water, canned foods, flashlights and other supplies on hand.
Tips for When a Winter Storm is Coming
Charge your phone. Not only should you charge your phone, but get any backup power sources ready too. If the power goes out, you’ll want to stay up-to-date on the news and let others know you’re safe.
Seal drafts. While you may have sealed some drafts as part of your regular winterizing — you’ll want to step up your game to keep out gusting wind. Rolled towels and blankets work great around doors. And hanging blankets over curtains give you an extra buffer.
Let faucets drip. To prevent freezing pipes during a storm it’s best to keep just a little water running through them. Usually turning them on so they drip will be enough protection.
Pull out supplies. If you’ve stocked up on supplies, make sure they’re handy so you can find them if you need them. It’s also a good idea to add to your water supply by filling some empty containers from your tap.
Get the shovels ready. If a very heavy snowfall is predicted, you can protect your body by planning on shoveling a few times throughout the storm. Tackling mounds of snow at once is very taxing and you can easily overexert yourself.
Be carbon monoxide savvy. If you’re going to use a generator, a propane stove or any other alternative electricity source, use them with utmost care. Always follow the manufacturer’s use guidelines and stay on top of carbon monoxide safety tips.
On the bright side — winter storms are a great time to bring the family together for some quality snuggle time. Getting close and bundling up helps keep everyone warm and cozy. Use this together time to play games, work on a puzzle, make vacation plans or just talk.