We’ll never turn down a lazy snow day followed by a cozy evening indoors, but if you’re not prepared, the best part of winter — snow — can quickly turn into the worst. While winter weather is notoriously hard to predict, you can get ahead of the blizzard with a bit of careful planning. Prepare for every stage of a winter storm with this safety checklist.
Caulk windows and doors.
Get ahead of cold weather by fixing major leaks before winter starts. Caulk and weatherstrip windows and doors to keep out drafts and save on energy bills.
Trim overgrown branches away from the house.
The last thing you want during a storm is for a stray branch to crash through the roof or down a power line.
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries.
Check batteries at the start of each season, especially in winter when heat and fireplace usage — and chances of power outages — increase.
Salt driveway and walkways.
Slow snow buildup by evenly sprinkling deicing salt on your driveway, steps, and walkways. We recommend magnesium chloride, which leaves behind less residue than common rock salt.
Assemble storm kit.
Not all snow days are created equal. If the forecast calls for a major storm that could keep you inside for a few days, make sure you’re prepared with ample food, water, and safety essentials.
Prepare backup power supply.
Have a portable generator ready in case of an outage. Keep it at least ten feet away from the house and all openings.
Check car tires and supplies.
While it’s best to stay indoors in a storm, inspect your car for winter travel in case it’s unavoidable. Check the tires and antifreeze, change the oil, and stock your trunk with safety essentials like snow chains, jumper cables, and a shovel. Before the storm, lift the windshield wipers so they won’t freeze in place.
But if there’s a break in the snow, shovel key areas periodically to avoid facing a huge pileup at the end of the storm.
Shovel and de-ice driveway, paths, and steps.
To prevent back strain, bend your knees and lift with your legs, holding the shovel blade close.
Clear snow from car (don’t forget the tailpipe!)
Shovel the area around your car last, since you’ll be brushing snow off the top.
Check for downed power lines & trees.
Give power lines a wide berth and avoid walking under branches weighted down with snow.