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.