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Staying Safe Before, During & After a Winter Storm

Winter Storm Warning Sign With Snowfall and Stormy Background

Most North American cities experience severe winter weather. Heavy snow, ice storms, and extreme temperatures threaten to damage your home and vehicle. You can’t stop a storm in its tracks, but you can prepare now so you’re ready when bad weather hits. Here’s how to stay safe before, during, and after a winter storm.

How to Prepare for a Winter Storm

Prepare your home and vehicle for winter weather with these tips:

  • Trim back tree branches that hang over the roof. Remove any dead or diseased trees.
  • Clean the gutters and downspouts so melting snow can drain properly.
  • Create an emergency preparedness plan, which should include having a survival kit on hand.
  • Improve air sealing and insulation to help keep the cold out.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home.
  • Keep your car well-maintained. Consider replacing the windshield wipers and installing snow tires before winter hits.
  • Store an emergency car kit in the trunk.
  • Always keep the gas tank at least half-full so you’re ready for unexpected storms.
  • Become familiar with your community’s severe weather warning system and make sure every family member knows what to do if a winter storm hits.

How to Stay Safe During a Winter Storm

Prevent car accidents, injuries, frozen pipes, and carbon monoxide poisoning with these tips:

  • Stay off the roads. If you must drive, know how to safely maneuver icy, snow-packed roads.
  • Keep everyone inside, including your pets. If you need to go out to shovel, dress in layers and pace yourself. Consider investing in a snowblower if you get a lot of snow where you live.
  • Heat your home to at least 55 degrees F, even when you’re out of town, to help prevent frozen pipes.
  • Vent all combustion appliances to the exterior, including gas furnaces, wood-burning fireplaces, kerosene space heaters, propane camping stoves, and gasoline generators.

How to Recover After a Winter Storm

Once the storm passes, and it’s safe to go outside, prevent further damage with these tips:

  • Consider raking heavy snow off your roof to prevent harmful ice dams or cave-ins.
  • Check the dryer vent, furnace flue, and other exhaust outlets to make sure snowdrifts aren’t obstructing them.
  • Check exterior faucets for cracks, leaks, and other signs of damage.
  • Clear snow and ice from window wells, basement stairwells, and exterior walls.
  • Sprinkle deicing salt on the driveway and sidewalks to help prevent slipping and falling.
  • Contact your insurance provider and a disaster restoration company if you spot any storm damage.

Need help restoring your home after a winter storm? Turn to the experts at DKI. With 200 service locations across the country, we can send you a local service provider to be onsite within two hours of your call. Call us at 844-354-2255 or contact us online 24 hours a day to request emergency storm damage repair service.