In Colorado, it’s a fact of life that when the snow starts to fall, it will continue to fall until it stops. This can be a stressful time for many people. But with the proper preparation and planning, you can ensure everyone in your home is safe and sound when the weather gets rough. Here are some tips on how homeowners can prepare for snow storms:
1. Check Roofing Materials and Insulation
Homeowners in Colorado know that snow storms can happen almost anytime and that they can do a lot of damage. Most insurance companies suggest having your roof inspected at least twice yearly to ensure it’s in good shape. While you’re up there (it’s best to do this when the weather is clear so you can get a good look around), look at the materials your roof is made of and ensure they are still in good condition. The materials could be wood, metal, or slate–any of those could be affected by ice dams caused by melting snow that refreezes on your roof. If you see any damage to the surface of your roof, like peeling paint, cracked shingles or ridges, or missing shingles, call a professional roofer as soon as possible to fix the problem before it gets worse. Also, check your attic for leaks since water can damage your insulation if it finds its way up there. Even if you don’t see any leaks now, keeping an eye on the roof even after a storm passes is essential because leaks often develop over time. Make sure to inspect any cracked siding and replace if needed. Consider reaching out to specialized James Hardie siding contractors to assist with your home’s exterior inspection.
2. Check Your Supplies
As far as supplies go, you can always have a few, but check your inventory to ensure you have everything on hand before the next storm hits. First and foremost, take stock of your food—which you should already do every time you go shopping—and ensure you have enough nonperishable items to last a week (or more, if possible). Next, keep an eye on the weather forecast, so you know what to expect and when. You don’t want to be stuck without power for longer than necessary. Make sure all of your flashlights and lanterns are in good working order and that they’re filled with fresh or easily replaced batteries. Keep plenty of candles and matches on hand—it’s smart to keep a candle in every house room, just in case. You’ll also want to ensure that your first aid kit is stocked with essentials like bandages and cold medicine, as well as extra gloves and warm socks in case someone gets injured or sick during the storm or clean up afterward. Check your heating system, water pipes, and snow shovels to ensure they’re all in working order.
3. Make Sure You Have Enough Batteries
When one of these storms is coming, it’s essential to be prepared in case you lose power. A good way to ensure you have enough emergency supplies is to ensure your home is stocked with plenty of batteries. Batteries are great for a lot of things—for example, do you have kids? If so, chances are you have lots of battery-operated toys and games. Batteries are also great for flashlights and radios (battery-operated or not). Flashlights and radios are essential tools during outages and can also be used as entertainment when the power goes out at night. Batteries are also great for your computer and other electronics like televisions and DVD players.
4. Make Sure Your Car is Ready for Winter Driving by Checking Your Tires, Wiper Blades, and Fluid Levels
Ensure your tires are properly inflated and have enough tread to be safe on wet or snowy roads. If you notice a bumpy ride, it could be time to consider new tires or have them checked out by a professional. You can also check out this handy guide to figuring out how much tread you need on your tires. Next up is the wiper blades. Check your wiper blades before winter hits—you want to make sure they’re in good working order. If they’re missing pieces, cracked, or not clearing enough of the windshield when you turn on your wipers, it’s time for a replacement. You may also want to consider some sort of “winter” or “snow” blades if you live somewhere that gets really bad snowstorms—they’re stronger and can push away more snow than regular blades can. Finally, check your oil.
Customizing your snow safety plan will include multiple elements, from the individual decisions of your family to general preparation for all parties involved. The main thing is to be flexible and prepared for a variety of situations. When you are able to do so, it will pay off and make snow storms much more manageable when they occur!
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