Snow has fallen, temperatures have dropped and roads have frozen. If you haven’t thought about winterizing your home and vehicle, there’s no time like the present. Following some basic winter safety tips can mean keeping your family comfortable, and in a worst case scenario, keeping everyone alive.
Get Your Home Winter Ready
Install storm windows, weather stripping and any extra insulation you may have to prep your house for those cold winter days and nights. If your house is old, you may want to put plastic over the windows and doors to keep the heat inside.
Check your heating system, and if you’re not sure what to look for have a professional come over to inspect it. It should be clean, working properly, have a new filter, and be ventilated to the outdoors. Inspect and clean your fireplaces and chimneys. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, which should be tested monthly.
Weather-related emergencies are common in many areas throughout the country. If you can’t get out of the house because of a major storm, you’ll be glad you have prepared. Always have enough non-perishable food to last you a week. Store extra water in clean containers. Keep a first aid kit fully stocked. Have flashlights, extra batteries, a NOAA weather radio, extra medicine and baby supplies on hand.
Winterize Your Vehicles
Winter weather definitely affects the vehicles that take us from point A to point B. The Department of Motor Vehicles recommends each vehicle have an emergency kit that will be a life-saver if you’re ever in an accident or get stranded.
Vehicle emergency kits should include a spare tire, blankets, flares, food (nuts, dried fruit, etc.), water, boots, radio, engine oil, coolant, washer fluid, flashlight, batteries, and an ice scraper.
If you don’t have four-wheel drive, you may want to put a few sand bags in the trunk of your car to add some weight and help keep you on the road in slippery conditions. Snow tires are a good idea for vehicles in cold climates.