I am not talking about the holiday season, but the frigid winter season that we are now embarking on. It doesn't matter where you live in the United States; at some point, you will probably experience some unusual weather for your area. Whether that means snow for the first time in years or feet of snow that has you stuck in your home for days. Before you know it (if you haven't already), you will experience extreme weather.
It is easy to procrastinate until the very last minute when it comes to preparing for winter. I speak from personal experience! We were bombarded in Minnesota with a significant snow storm November 9, 10, and 11. Snow in November is not that out of the ordinary, but 10 inches worth, was a bit more than I think we all expected and were prepared for. We were looking to get new tires before we traveled home for Thanksgiving, but we did not plan on getting an actual snow storm before then. The temperatures started to drop, so we did take care of all of our leaves, cleaned our gutters out, winterized our fishing boat, and boxed up our rose bushes. Needless to say though, we could have done more to prepare! We realized we only have one scraper/brush for 2 vehicles and we still have our boat parked in our garage, meaning our vehicle takes the winter blast pretty hard.
We should have been more prepared.
How do you prevent being caught off guard with winter? It actually is very simple - it just takes some extra preparation, planning, and time, but will save you much frustration in the end!
Here are a few ideas:
1. Turn on your heat before you need to, making sure it works. Change the filter.
2. Clean out your gutters, rake leaves, and burn, bag, or bring to town brush pile. This prevents leaves getting caught in your snowblower when the time comes!
3. Make sure your snowblower is ready to go - oil changed, spark plugs cleaned out, and gas tank filled.
4. Check battery supply - make sure you have enough for your flashlights!
5. Check your tires - the treads, need air, or changed to your snow tires?
6. Create a small car emergency kit - blankets, jumper cables, tow strap, sand/rock salt, flashlight, food (granola bars), water, and first aid kit.
7. Stock an area of your cupboards with food that you can eat if the electricity goes out, such as food that needs minimal preparation.
8. Keep an eye on the weather. With our most recent snow storm, I did not know that it was coming until 2 days before because I was not keeping an eye on the weather.
9. Stock sand and/or rock salt in your garage and car for those "stuck" moments.
10. Make sure you have a shovel that can handle any type of snow - the light and fluffy, but also the heavy and wet, without breaking your back.
11. Check the clothing inventory for your family. Coats, gloves, mittens, hats, and boots. Make sure sure to check to see if they still fit, before that first snow comes.
It is never to early to prepare - especially when it comes to winter weather! If you haven't already, start working through the list above so that you will not be caught in the storm unprepared!
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