Before the winters set in make sure to prepare for the dangerous blizzards that they bring along. Blizzards are accompanied with strong winds and heavy snow almost everywhere in the U.S. Although South Dakota is notoriously known as the "Blizzard State", these weather phenomenons also give a visit Texas in the south and Maine in the east.
With new technology and forecasting there to inform you when the 5 feet snow will give you a visit, you can prepare your home well in advance to keep your family safe. The following are the most important steps you can take to thwart any threats from this monster.
1. Store Furniture and Equipment
Move and store all the outdoor furniture and equipment indoors. If you cannot move something indoors, make sure that it is properly covered to prevent any damages from the harsh weather. Don't leave your garden tools outside.
Move your car and mower into the garage and shed. Remove any vulnerable outdoor item like wind chimes and flags. Make sure that the hoses are also stored inside otherwise they can get damaged after freezing and thawing. Drain off water from the outdoor ponds and taps.
2. Check Pipes
Inspect the pipes and plumbing and wrap them with insulation if there is a chance of them freezing. Secure all the hatches including shutters, stalls and doors, and repair or replace any damaged gutters or skirting.
3. Trim Branches
Trim away all the branches and vines close to the doors, windows and power lines. Almost 50% of all the annual utility outages are caused by branches and vines.
4. Store and Mark Warm Clothes
Store a bag full of warm clothes, for the family, in an easily accessible place. Keep in mind that you may have to search for warm clothes in power-outage situations in other terms, you may have to search for items in dark. The power outages could last for more than a day, so having some board games handy could prove to be helpful.
5. Weather Stripping Use weather stripping on the doors or cover the windows thoroughly using plastic. Check the windows for cracks or gaps and seal them off with boards or tapes. Check the fireplace and stock up firewood if you use wood-burning stove. Make sure to keep it dry by storing indoors and covering with plastic.
If possible, insulate your home. You can find non-flammable products that can be used for filling up all the cracks and gaps. You may have to spend a decent amount on insulation but the savings in terms of lowered heating bill could make it worth. Besides, keeping out the freezing cold winds outside is much more worth than a few hundred dollars.
6. Stock Food and Water
Stock up food and water for at least two weeks. Be prepared for situations where you and your family could get snowed-in and there are longer power outages. If you are well prepared for the blizzard, you are going to turn an otherwise difficult situation into a great time spent safely with the family.
Most importantly, once the strong snowy winds start hitting your home, make sure to stay inside. The weather may appear to be too tempting to go out and play, especially for the kids, but you can keep all the fun for later, when the weather has cleared. Blizzards are accompanied with snowy winds, before and after, that could cause frostbite.
Keep your family safe and warm indoors until it is safe enough to move out.