Getting Ready for Winter

By mid-September, some parts of the country may have already had their first snowfall of the season, and it won’t be long after that for most of the rest of us. With that in mind, it would be wise to ensure that you’re ready to tackle the winter season well before the snow flies.

Vehicle emergency kits – this is a great time to fully unpack and inspect all of your vehicle kits. Add winter outerwear, including gloves and knit hats.

Winterize the home – add weatherstripping to windows and doors, put up thick curtains that you can close at night to trap heat.

Alternate heat sources – if you’ve not done so already, stock up on fuel for the fireplace, wood stove, or what have you. Might want to clean your chimney or have it done. Test out all indoor space heaters and make sure they are functioning correctly.

Outdoor spigots – turn off the water and cover them so they don’t freeze up and burst.

Test fire equipment – check all smoke detectors and make sure they are working. You should also check to see if you can actually hear them if you’re in your bedroom with the door closed. Test CO monitors as well. Don’t overlook fire extinguishers. Make sure they’re not expired and give ‘em a good shake to free up any settling at the bottom.

Shake out outerwear – drag out the heavy coats, boots, and such and make sure they’re still in good condition and that they all still fit as they should. Repair or replace as needed.

Get ready for snow and ice – pull out the snow shovels, fire up the snowblower and make sure it is running properly.

Don’t forget outdoor animals – if you have critters outside that you take care of, make sure they have a way to get water, no matter how cold it gets.

Reverse fans – if you have ceiling fans, reverse their motion so that they are pushing warm air down, rather than pulling it up.

Clean gutters – doing so will help prevent damage from overflowing water. This is a good time to put up your holiday lights, too. You don’t need to plug them in, but it is far easier to hang them when you’re not battling snow and ice.

Look for dead trees/limbs – if you have trees that overhang your house, take a look to make sure they aren’t dying or that there aren’t large limbs that might come down with the weight of snow.

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