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Get your home ready for the winter months today. Taking a few precautions, and getting things checked and ready now, could save you and your family from a life-threatening situation.

Get your furnace ready

Don’t wait until the snow is falling to get your furnace ready. This time is year is perfect for having your heating system checked. It’s also an excellent time to replace your furnace filter.

Get gutters and hoses ready

A blocked rain gutter can easily turn into an ice dam, causing extensive damage to your roof and water damage inside. While the weather is still decent, take some time to ensure your rain gutters are clear.

If you have outside hoses, now is the time to drain them and bring them indoors. If you have a sprinkler system, time to shut off the water and winterize your pipes.

You should also know how to turn off your water, just in case a pipe bursts. [1]

Stock up

Make sure you have at least three days of food and supplies. This includes water. If you or anyone in your household needs medication (e.g., insulin), ensure you have enough to last for at least a few days.

Make sure you have warm clothes and blankets at home. Flashlights, and perhaps an alternative heating source are also important if the power goes out—but be careful of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Know when to go

Keep an eye on the weather. If errands or other travel can be avoided or planned, make sure to check for winter weather advisories and warnings. No sense on venturing out in a terrible snow storm if you can wait a day and go safely.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) [2] has a lot of wonderful resources to help you plan for winter weather, including the “How to Prepare for a Winter Storm” guide:

 

Resources

  1. https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather
  2. https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494008826172-76da095c3a5d6502ec66e3b81d5bb12a/FEMA_2017_WinterStorm_HTP_FINAL.pdf
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