1. Winterproof 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, burst pipes.
- Insulate water tanks and pipes to keep them from freezing over. Even wrapping a towel around the taps could be renough 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.