How to Prepare for Winter
Winter can be very harsh. There is always the risk of becoming stuck or the power going out. Being unprepared can lead to you and your family being cold and even suffering an injury. Instead of risking being cold this winter, you can easily make your own home and car emergency kits that will help you survive the winter. You can also prepare your home for winter easily.
Preparing your Home for Winter
It is a good idea to get your home ready for winter during the fall. However, some people start getting ready in the late summer. Here is how you can get your home ready for winter.
1.Check all the windows and doors for damage
2.Check for cracks and holes around your home’s exterior and seal them
3.Install and/or test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
4.Switch locks on fences and gates to weather-resistant locks
5.Secure outdoor equipment in a safe location
Keeping Warm When the Power is Out
The major challenge of winter is staying warm when the power is out. Layering can only do so much for keeping you warm. There is going to be times when you simply cannot layer enough, like if you get stuck in traffic like happened in Atlanta. There is a simple way of keeping warm without risking carbon monoxide poisoning or ruining your car’s engine.
You will need a metal coffee tin, matches or lighter, and metal cup tea light candles. Avoid using a coffee can that is made from cardboard and is lined with a metallic coating. These cans can catch on fire, and do not spread the heat in the same ways as metal cans.
The amount of time that a tea light candle can burn will depend on the candles. Soy wax candles burn longer and hotter, but are more expensive. Most discount stores have unscented tea light candles for about 5 cents each but you will need to buy a whole box. It is recommended that you get unscented tea lights, so you can use the candles to heat food up if you need to.
Emergency Kit for Your Home
No matter the time of year, you should have an emergency kit available. What you have in your emergency should depend on your family. It is recommended that you check your emergency kit twice a year to make sure that nothing is expired. Here are some of the items that you should have in your house emergency kit.
Pet Supplies and Food
3 Day Supply of Water and Food
Preparing Your Car for Winter Weather
Before winter weather starts, you should make sure all your vehicles are ready for driving in these weather conditions.
1.Get all vehicles serviced to ensure they are operating well
2.Change tires to winter tires
3.Make sure that you have at least ¾ of a tank of gas during the winter
4.Switch Windshield Wiper Fluid to a specialized winter fluid
5.Place a windshield scraper, a folding shovel and other snow removal tools in each vehicle.
Vehicle Emergency Kit
Winter is very hard on our vehicles, and there is always the risk that we are going to get stuck in our vehicles somewhere. Vehicle emergency kits should have enough items to last 3 days for each member of your family. This includes your pets. This kit could take up some room in your vehicle, so you may want to use a good sized tote to keep everything in order.
Food (including snacks)
2 pairs of warm socks
2 pairs of gloves
Hand and Feet Warmers
A Winter Coat
Bottles of Water
A package of Wet Ones
Roll of Toilet paper
Matches and/or lighter
First Aid Kit
A fully charged cell phone charger
Flash Light w/ batteries
Cat Litter (for traction under your tires when you are stuck in snow or on ice)
Winter Safety Tips You Should Know
The cold weather and snow can make daily life a challenge. Here are some basic safety tips you should know this winter.
Kitty Litter and Rock Salt
This mixture is great for keeping your walkways safe. The rock salt will help melt the ice and salt. The kitty litter provides traction. It can be used under your vehicles’ tires to help get you unstuck from the ice and snow.
Ice-Scrapers in a Pinch
If you need an ice-scraper but have not gotten the chance to pick one up or put one in your car, you are in luck. There are a few other options that you can pick from. If you are at home, you can use a spatula to scrape the windows. You can also take out any plastic card out of your wallet and scrape the windows. These may not be the most time efficient options, but they will get the job in a pitch.
Rubbing alcohol is a great item to have in your home and vehicle. It can be used to unfreeze your windshield wiper blades from your windshield. It can also be rubbed on your keys to unfreeze locks. Hand sanitizer can also be used in a pinch if you do not have rubbing alcohol. The reason why alcohol works so well is that it lowers the freezing point of water, and the ice starts to melt even when it is super cold outside.
If you are worried about your doors or locks freezing during the winter, simply spray WD-40 into the lock. You can also use cooking spray to reduce the risk of your doors freezing. The cooking spray stops the winter from freezing inside of the door, so the door does not end up getting frozen stuck.
There are tons of people who swear by this tip. An extra pair of socks should be in your glove box during the winter. Instead of wearing them inside of your boots or shoes, you should wear the socks over your shoes. The socks will give you better traction, especially if you have to push your car over snow and ice or if you need to walk in the snow. Most times, even a cheap pair of socks will work. If you use the socks make sure to wash them afterward and put them back in your glove box.
Another use for socks is to protect your windshield wipers during snow storms. Windshield wipers can be damaged by the ice and snow that can be stuck to the inside of the wipers, or if they become frozen to the windshield too many times. It is recommended that you lift your windshield wipers off your windshield and protect them with the socks, which will reduce the risk of damage to both the windshield and wipers.
Winter is coming and it is not going to wait for you to be ready for it. Preparing for winter does not need to be a challenge this year, especially if you use some of the tips and tricks listed above.