No matter where you live in the country, the coming of winter can bring some problems. Tailored Living® is committed to helping families live well in their homes and sometimes living well means planning ahead to avoid inevitable seasonal issues, like the cold and wet of winter.
Being proactive with precautions and preparations will help get your family safely through the winter whether you deal with extreme cold, rain, blizzards, earthquakes, hurricanes, roadside emergencies or power outages. Not all winters bring the same challenges, but being ready for anything is a good feeling.
General home tips for winter comfort
- Double check weather stripping on doors and windows and replace any that is faulty. If any of your windows have cracks in then get Graceland Replacement Windows for them otherwise they could let heat out or even smash on the cold.
- Clean out chimneys to make sure they are clear and safe, no creosote buildup or nesting varmints.
- Service your home heating/air unit so it’s in good working order. Looking for a new thermostat? Check out this guide to the best smart heating thermostats to help you make an informed decision.
- Place additional rugs by entry doors to absorb rain and snow.
- Make sure everyone has proper coats, boots and hats that fit. Kids can easily outgrow winter gear that’s packed away for a year.
- Use handy lap robes or blankets for TV viewing, reading or relaxing to conserve on heating costs.
- Never burn charcoal in the house, it emits deadly carbon monoxide fumes. Use alternative heat sources like a fireplace, kerosene heater or gas catalytic heater.
- Keep your pantry well stocked for people and pets, but remember to rotate foods, using the oldest first, so you don’t end up with expired supplies.
- Have sufficient hanging space in entryways and mudrooms so coats, hats and wet umbrellas have sufficient space to dry. Never pile up or place wet garments into closets.
In case of a power outage at home
- Refrigerator/freezer will eventually thaw – keep the door closed as much as possible to conserve the cold. According to foodsafety.gov, a refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours without power and a full freezer will keep foods frozen for about 48 hours. If you live in snow, you can put refrigerator food outside to keep it at 40o. Dry ice or block ice can help keep the refrigerator cold for a longer period of time.
- Have plenty of candles, flashlights and batteries for when the lights go out. If your area has power outages for days at a time, buying a generator may be a good idea. Solar lights can provide illumination powered by the sun. Leave them outside to be charged up and bring them in when needed.
- Electric stoves, can openers, blenders, etc., will not work. Have a manual can opener just in case or pop-top cans of soups, fruits and other ready-to-eat foods.
- TVs, radios, home security systems, computers will not work unless they are battery powered.
- Unplug electrical appliances including TVs and computer equipment and turn off all but one light (so you’ll know when the power comes back on).
- Put cell phones on airplane mode or off to save power.
- Automatic garage doors will not work – be sure all family members know how to release the catch to manually raise the door so you can get the car out of the garage.
For more tips on creating a home emergency outage kit, visit Edison Electric Institute.
Car safety in big and small emergencies
Becoming stranded in your car can be anything from a dead battery to an accident- or weather-bound freeway to sliding into a snowbank. If you end up in a car accident, it would be a smart idea to talk to a Car Accident Attorney for insight into how to proceed legally. The severity of your situation depends on weather conditions, the time of day or night and the availability of car roadside service. Even if it’s just a dead battery in cold weather, you should have some game plan for keeping yourself and your family safe.
- Keep your gas tank filled and your car serviced, especially before taking off on a long drive.
- Have your roadside service provider numbers in the car and on your phone.
- Keep your cell phone charged up and have a phone charger in the car.
- Have bottled water and blankets in the car; keeping warm and hydrated are top priorities.
- Keep a few fresh, non-perishable foods like energy bars, nuts, granola and dried fruit on hand.
- Have a rain poncho and spare umbrella.
- A powerful LED flashlight (and extra batteries) can also be used as a distress beacon.
- Make sure your spare tire is good and that you have a working jack.
- Air-activated hand and toe warmers are an added plus, as is a first aid kit.
- An emergency distress kit is a good investment if you drive long distances, in isolated areas, or spend lots of time in your car. Contents could include all the above and more, and it would all be packed in an easy-to-store bag.
Learn from experience
Think back over previous winters. Did situations arise that you were not prepared for? Be realistic about what could happen where you live and take measures to ensure comfort and safety for your family. If this is your first winter in a new area, talking to neighbors about what to expect may be a good idea.
Your local Tailored Living designer can help with innovative storage solutions to accommodate extra supplies and stores if you live in especially demanding weather conditions, or with organizing closets, garages, pantries and laundry rooms for everyday living. Call 866-675-8819 (US) or 866-257-7231 (CAN) today to schedule a FREE, in-home consultation or go online to www.tailoredliving.com to find a designer near you.
For additional tips on surviving winter, check out Winterize your Garage Now for Safety and Convenience all Season Long.