Even though we’ve just begun the autumn season, now is the best time to start your preparations to be sure you’re properly “winterized” and ready for when the inevitable bad weather comes. FEMA has an excellent planning list to help you. Among their suggestions:
Add the following supplies to your disaster supplies kit:
- Rock salt to melt ice on walkways.
- Sand to improve traction.
- Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
Prepare your home and family:
- Winterize your house or any other structure that may provide shelter. Clear rain gutters, repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on the structure during a storm.
- Insulate pipes and let faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.
- Check your fire extinguishers and re-charge or replace if necessary.
- Learn how to shut off water valves (in case of pipe bursts).
Prepare your car:
- Check or have a mechanic check antifreeze levels, the battery and ignition system, brakes, exhaust system, fuel and air filters, heater and defroster, thermostat, lights and hazard blinkers, oil and windshield wiper and wiper fluid.
- Change to winter tires. Make sure the tires have adequate tread.
- Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.
- Prepare a winter emergency kit in each car that includes, at least, a shovel, ice scraper, small broom, first aid kit, road salt and sand, booster cables, flashlight, and extra batteries and a fluorescent distress flag.
- Additional items can include tow ropes and chains, hand-crank powered emergency radio, water, snack food, blankets, extra hats, socks, gloves and mittens, medications and emergency flares.