In Northern Illinois, we know what it’s like to get hit with a major snowstorm with little to no warning. We get our share of winter weather and at McMahon Services, we want to help you prepare your home for the upcoming winter storms. While you can’t be prepared for every disaster, knowing what’s possible when the snow starts to fall will help you keep your house, and its occupants safe from the ice and cold.
Tips To Stay Safe During A Winter Storm
1. Keep A Home Emergency Kit On Hand.
A container with essential supplies like three days of drinking water and non-perishable food items are great to have on hand in case of major emergencies where you are snowed in for a long period of time. While the chances of no escape are slim – being prepared for the worst is always better than being stuck without water or food!
Have a backup supply of batteries for flashlights, a radio, and lanterns ready to go to stay in touch with the outside world and to keep your home lit. A first aid kit should be stocked and in your emergency container, blankets to keep warm if the heat goes out, and keep a portable cell phone charger charged and ready to go.
2. Stock Up On Tools.
Snow and ice will accumulate quickly on the sidewalk, car, and driveway. Have a shovel (or three) ready to go for the areas that a snowblower won’t reach – or areas that it can’t cut through. Snowblowers should be ready to go, and always have extra fuel on hand. Store fuel in a safe place to prevent a fire from breaking out, causing a different kind of emergency to your property.
If you have enough warning before the storm, pre-treat your cement with salt or sand to prevent ice and snow from sticking as much as possible.
3. Check Your Insulation.
Before winter hits, head into your attic and walls to check the insulation. If you notice your insulation is less than ½ inch thick, add more to keep the heat inside your home where it belongs!
During a storm keep your blinds and curtains closed to help keep the cold outside the room – and keep doors closed to any rooms you are not using. Heat should be centralized to rooms that you are in; this will help save on electric bills as well.
Wrap your pipes in insulated materials, especially those outside your home (and turn off any water supplies to sprinkler systems!), to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting during the cold weather. Burst pipes are the leading cause of water damage in homes, which can cause major structural damage in homes.
4. Light A Fire!
If your home is equipped to do so, take advantage of your fireplace, especially if the power goes out! Before the storm hits (or winter for that matter) stock up on firewood and be prepared to use it for the season. Fire is a great (free!) source of heat and light during the winter months, saving you money on your electricity and heating bills.
When winter storms hit, McMahon Services is ready to help in the aftermath. If you experience damage from burst pipes, mold growth from melting snow, or roof damage from the weight of ice on your home, call us and we can help bring your home back to normal as quickly as possible.