How to Prepare for a Winter Storm

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 7:00:00 AM Categories: Home Maintenance

In this post you’ll learn ...

  • How to stay in the know about winter storms.
  • What items you will need in case a winter storm hits.
  • Learn about steps you can take to prepare your house for a storm.
  • For even more tips and a home-prep check list, look here.


How to prepare for a winter storm

Preparing for a Winter Storm‘Tis the season to be jolly. It’s also the season to make sure you are prepared for whatever the unforgiving winter has in store for you and your family. Winter weather preparedness and winter storm preparedness are key elements to the holiday season that we can forget about or overlook while we are busy shopping for loved ones and making travel arrangements. Being prepared for the worst of winter is always important. Winter storms can give us simple light snow for the kids to play in or they can turn into brutal blizzards that bring with them freezing rain and ice. Some storms and blizzards can affect several states at once.

There are a handful of simple and easy steps you can take in order to make sure you are prepared for a winter storm, should one occur that is bad enough to ruin your holiday spirit.

Before we get into specific preparations, let’s make sure you know the difference between advisories when it comes to winter storms. Winter storms can come in all shapes and forms and have very differing levels of threat or danger. It’s important to stay informed by knowing exactly what these weather advisories are saying.

Winter Storm Outlook: Some form of winter storm conditions are possible within the next 2-5 days.

Winter Weather Advisory: A winter storm is imminent and will be causing severe inconveniences and conditions will probably be hazardous.

Winter Storm Watch: Winter storm conditions will be taking place within the next 36-48 hours. If you are in an affected area, then it is advised you stay informed on changing and impending conditions.

Winter Storm Warning: Severe and life-threatening weather conditions will take place within the next 24 hours.

Besides staying informed on coming winter conditions, winter storm preparedness means you need to make sure you have the supplies to make it through the worst winter conditions.

Here is a list of items you should have at the ready in your home:

Shovel: you should have a shovel in your home because you may need to dig out if there is snow blocking your doorways.

Bottled Water: you should always have plenty of bottled water ready. Pipes can freeze or burst, making it impossible to use your tap.

Canned Foods: you should have enough non-perishable food to last your family for a week in case you are stuck in your home, or your electricity goes out.

Blankets and Warm Clothing: don’t completely rely on your heat, you may need to bundle yourselves up to stay warm if you experience a power outage.

Flashlights/Batteries/Candles: these are all important in the common scenario where you lose your power. Make sure you have plenty of batteries and matches. 

Battery-Operated Radio: we’ve already mentioned that staying informed is the number 1 priority for winter weather preparedness, and a radio will function without power, and when phone and internet connections aren’t working.

First Aid Kit: this is for any medical emergency you may have when trapped inside your house because of a winter storm.

Personal Care Necessitates: these include daily necessities like pet food, prescription medications, personal hygiene items, diapers, baby formula, etc.

Winter Storm Preparation Tips - Portable Cell Phone Charger

Portable Cell Phone Charger: this is highly recommended in an age where cell phones have replaced many land lines.

Besides stocking the correct supplies, you’ll also need to prepare your house for winter storms. 

Clear your rain gutters and repair any roof leaks your may have. This will prevent flooding and other complications. Cut away any tree branches that may fall onto or into your house if conditions get bad. If you’ve recently moved into a home, it’s recommended that you speak with a contractor to ensure that your roof can sustain the weight of heavy snow.

It’s also important to winter proof windows and doors. This can include covering windows with plastic and insulating openings or cracks left in doors and windows. Allow your faucets to drip a little in cold weather seasons to avoid freezing as well.

The last tips are these: make sure your supplies are current. It’s good to go through your basic supplies listed above and make sure everything works and is up to date. Do this every month or so.

In the case of a power outage, it can be a good idea to have entertainment around for the family like books or board games. This kind of preparedness doesn’t have to do with safety, but it can make the time pass by in a much easier fashion and keep nerves calm.

Winter storm preparedness and winter weather preparedness are no joke. By making yourself prepared for the worst Mother Nature has to offer in the cold season, you will ensure that you have one less thing to worry about. When you’re prepared for the worst winter has to offer, you can allow yourself to really enjoy the best the winter has to offer … worry free.