Getting Your Home Ready for the Big Snowstorm

by Emily RicheyJuly 20, 2016

Storm Prep Saves You Time, Hassle, Dollars, and Serious Inconvenience

As we settle in for what may or may not be the snowstorm of the century (again), it makes perfect sense to review the basics of how to prepare for a blizzard. There are several things you can do to get yourself, your family, and your home ready to ride out the storm itself, and any inconveniences that may follow.
As we all know, the big issues with major winter storms are the snow and ice that trap you in your home and bring down trees, impacting the local utility’s ability to deliver electricity, and the temperatures that can freeze and rupture pipes, causing flooding. Here is a quick list of how to prepare for what the coming storm may deliver to your neighborhood.

Prevent Frozen Pipes Before the Storm

Make sure that you’ve disconnected all exterior hoses and turned off the pipes that lead to them from inside your home. Drain the lines once they’ve been shut off, and cover the hose bibs with Styrofoam covers from the local hardware store.

Run pipes in the house at a trickle (moving water freezes at a much lower temperature than still water), and open cabinet doors under sinks to let warm air in. If you’re going to be leaving your home for some time, do not turn off your heat.

Prevent Other Causes of Post Storm Flooding

The gutters on and around your home should be thoroughly cleaned of all leaves and other debris by now. After all, this is a late fall chore for a good reason. Frozen leaves, twigs, and other tree debris makes natural pooling sites in gutters that can turn into ice dams where melting snow runoff backs up and overflows onto areas near your foundation. This can cause seepage and flooding in basements, or problems with falling icicles once the storm has subsided and nature has started the melting process.

Stock Up on Supplies for a Week or Two

If you have a generator, make sure you get enough fuel to keep it running for a week or two. If you have a wood stove or fireplace, do the same. Stock up on water and food, as well, and consider things like the fact that you may not have electricity during parts of the storm.

Remember, severe weather can have a serious impact on a wide variety of distribution systems. Make sure you have enough lantern batteries, candles, and flashlight batteries as well. If you’re very worried about fresh water, fill up your bathtub. Also, make sure that you are stocked up on salt or sand, which you will use once the snow and ice stop falling.

And please, don’t ever run a barbecue or grill in your home, no matter how cold it may get. The carbon monoxide from an unventilated fire will kill you far quicker than the cold can.

Follow This Quick Guide and You’ll Get Through the Storm With Flying Colors

This brief article and the list of tips it contains are by no means a complete guide to winter storm preparedness. But with a little effort, time, and some smart shopping, you should be able to weather anything winter can dish out.

These days, failing to prepare adequately for inclement weather will most likely only result inconvenience. But why be inconvenienced when it’s so easy to get prepared in advance? Good luck out there! Hopefully, the snow will be something you and your family can enjoy.

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About The Author
Emily Richey
Emily is a Content Marketing Assistant and a new home owner! When not coordinating content for Homes, she stays busy cooking in her new kitchen, reading interior design magazines, running with her pup and husband, exploring new places, and entertaining.