1. Winterise your home
- Make sure you’ve enough fuel and that all your heating systems are ready and working.
- Get your chimney swept so you can use it without risk.
- Repair any drafts, sealing them off so the cold can’t make its way in.
- Make sure there are no leaks in the roof.
- Clear the gutters and trim any tree branches that could fall on your home in the event of a storm.
- Make sure you know where the water and gas shut-off is in your house.
2. Prepare your pipes
The last thing you want to deal with when a storm hits is disruption to your water supply or worse, bust pipes.
- Insulate water tanks and pipes to keep them from freezing over. Even wrapping a towel around the taps could be enough to prevent freezing.
- Service your boiler to prevent any leaks from freezing and causing it to break down.
- Fix dripping taps, especially those outside. If you’ve got a drip outside that freezes, you could be setting up for a slip.
- Leave your heating on, even on a low setting, to allow warm air to circulate and help prevent pipes and tanks from freezing.
3. Have a food and water supply ready
If you lose power or can’t get out of the house, you’ll want to have a supply of food and water, just in case. Keep a three-day supply of fresh drinking water and have a supply of easy-to-prepare, non-perishable foods.
4. Have an emergency kit tucked away
It brings comfort knowing you’ve got back up in case you can’t get out of the house.
- Keep an additional supply of medications, in case you can’t get to the pharmacy.
- Have a torch with extra batteries plus matches and candles in case the power goes out.
- Keep duct tape, plastic sheeting, and basic tools on hand in case you need to seal up a broken window or another small issue.
- Charge up your power bank to keep your phone charged if you lose power.
- Make a first aid kit to have on-hand in case of a medical emergency.
5. Keep footpaths clear
If the snow covers your property, you’ll need to clear it off to get around, and to make it safe for others.
- Shovelling is hard work, so make sure you’re in healthy condition before you begin.
- Start early in the day, if possible, and be sure to wear well-gripped footwear do avoid slips.
- Don’t use boiling water to clear snow. This can re-freeze and cause black ice to form, making it even more dangerous.
- To prevent ice from forming after you’ve cleared, use grit or salt on the area.
When it comes to winter weather, preparation is the key to preventing stress and staying safe. Get your home prepared before it sets in and you’ll have a cosy winter ahead.