Winter Storm Prep

This winter storm watch has us hunkering down and preparing for what could be another nasty blizzard for Atlantic Canada. With conditions expecting to intensify throughout the day, we thought Monday’s blog post should be dedicated to winter storm prep. While storm chips are always an essential, there are a few more ways you can stay safe and warm when Old Man Winter comes-a-knocking.

Keep emergency kit well-stocked.
Especially throughout the winter months, you’ll want to ensure you’re ready for whatever weather comes your way. Make a list of necessities and keep track of what needs replenishing. Things like flashlights and batteries are useful tools if you find yourself without power. Other items such as a battery-powered or crank radio to listen to local weather updates, extra blankets, and plenty of clean water and non-perishable nibbles will provide peace of mind during a storm. Lanterns and other lights with a hand crank, as opposed to batteries, are wonderful additions to a storm kit. Just wind them up and bask in the glow.

Clear away any hanging branches.
Remove any branches which dangle near the roof or around vehicles. Blowing wind or heavy snow may cause braches to crack and wreak havoc on your property. If you have trees near power lines, consider calling a professional to have them removed.

Chimney maintenance.
It may be tempting to gather ‘round the wood burning fireplace when power is no more, but this may not be the safest option for warmth and light. If your chimney has not been used in some time and is not regularly cleaned and maintained, a wood-burning fire may cause smoke issues. Avoid the risk and stick to flashlights and extra layers.

Ensure snow removal team is ready to go.
A large snowfall requires a serious clearing the next day. Ensure your shovels and/or snow blower is in good working order and you have plenty of salt or sand to coat the cleared area. While you may be keen to get out there and tackle the entire area as quickly as possible, it’s advised to pace yourself. Overexertion and over-heating while shovelling heavy, wet snow is a dangerous health combination. Take your time and stay bundled.

Pipe safety.
Water expands as it freezes. Pipes exposed to severe cold or those found in exterior walls with little insulation are the most likely to freeze and potentially burst. Know where to find water valves and how to shut them off in case of freezing. Shutting off the water supply may decrease the damage caused to your home. A proactive and simple tip is to open cabinet doors to allow more heat to reach uninsulated pipes under a sink or appliance near an outer wall.

Winter weather can be unpredictable. Be proactive and ensure you and your home are ready for whatever nature may send our way. And if you find yourself in hibernation, cozy up on the couch with a hot tea and your tablet and browse! Some quality time indoors may inspire your next great renovation!

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