It’s inevitable. The temperatures are falling with the leaves, and it’s not uncommon to see your breath upon exhalation at nighttime here in Wisconsin. Winter is coming. Are you ready? Is your house ready?
First, the basics: Is your snow shovel in good working order? Do you have salt or another de-icing compound handy for that first freeze? Now is the time to have your snowblower tuned up and ready for use. Make sure it starts BEFORE you need to use it. The same goes for your generator!
Next, let’s prepare for the worst. How well are you prepared for a massive winter storm? Your home emergency kit should contain enough supplies to last through a four day power outage and should consist of these essentials:
Consider placing an emergency kit in your car as well. Placing a box in the trunk with some sand, an ice scraper, some emergency road flares, a gallon of water, and extra winter clothing might just be lifesaving!
Have you cleaned your gutters yet? If not, NOW is the time to do it, before the snow falls. Clogged gutters WILL lead to ice dams, and ice dams will lead to moisture and standing water inside your home. Likewise, you should get those leaves out of your basement window wells. Wet leaves will promote rot, and will force you to repair your windows and the frames around them sooner. Don’t forget to turn off the valve to outside water sources! If that pipe freezes, you’re bound to need EDR to clean up the damage in your basement.
If the windows in your home are more than five years old, or if you can feel a draft coming through them when the wind blows, then using a winter window film to keep the cold air out and the warm air in this winter will keep your family warm and cozy and save you money on your utility bills. Also, now is the time to apply weather stripping to exterior-facing windows and doors, and to put storm windows in place as needed.
Lastly, develop a disaster preparedness plan for your family that includes the following:
Plan on a place to go when a winter storm warning is issued, depending on where you are… at home, school, work, or if you're outdoors or in your car.
Plan for a friend or relative you've designated as your point of contact if you are separated from your family during a severe winter storm.
Place where family members can meet if you're separated in a storm.
Being prepared for the worst in the winter time is essential, and can sometimes transform an uncomfortable scenario into a fun one filled with lasting memories for all of those involved. Let’s make sure this winter is memorable for all of the right reasons.
Remember: Keeping the elements out of your home will also keep EDR out of your home. Have a safe and wonderful season!