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.