It’s highly encouraged to prepare yourself and your house, vehicles, and other valuable personal property to withstand winter weather and accompanying storms. We wanted to cultivate a list of extreme cold weather tips so that those living in colder regions could benefit. If you’re looking specifically for winter preparedness tips, we have an article on that too! These are basic ideas to help you get started…
Protect Your House From Extreme Cold Weather
- Most houses have carbon and smoke monoxide alarms currently set up but they should be checked every 6 months. An easy way to remember the six-month checkup date is by inspecting it at the start of spring and at the start of fall. Set a calendar event on your phone so you don’t forget about it as time goes on.
- Prevent water pipes from freezing. Drain all the patio hoses and shut water access off to areas that are not insulated. In terms of your interior pipes, maintain a temperature in your home (between 55°F and 65°F) that helps you save on heating when you’re away but won’t cause potential damage. In extreme cold, you should turn on your faucets to drip in an effort to prevent them from becoming frozen—a trickle of water is really all you need!
- Do a genuine home walk-through. Go around your house (inside and outside) and glance at the caulking and insulation of the windows / doors. Feel around the seal to make sure there’s no draft. Even a crack can be significant enough to increase your electricity bill and cause your house to work harder than necessary. Repair the holes yourself or call a expert if you’d like assistance.
- Install thermal-pane windows. Thermal-pane windows are a bit pricey since they’re energy-efficient, but they’ll save you money in the long run. Thermal windows are insulated so they really help maintain the internal temperature of your house and keep the extreme cold weather temperatures at bay.
- If thermal-pane windows aren’t an option, an alternative would be a window insulator kit. These are easily applied and help mitigate the loss of heat.
- Do a property maintenance sweep. Cut any branches that are overhanging your roof. Clean out the gutters allowing proper drainage for melting snowfall. [You could need to clean these out during a storm as well to prevent roof damage.]
- If you’re planning to leave your home for an extended period of time during extreme cold weather, drain most of the water pipes to avoid them from freezing. Also, have a trusted relative or neighbor check on your house periodically to create peace of mind.
Protect Your Vehicle From Extreme Cold Weather
Winter can be especially hard on automobiles, especially if you don’t have a garage to keep them in. Communicate with your mechanic about ways to winterize your automobile— their opinions will be on the basis of the condition that your particular car is in. These are some guidelines that are general that will be helpful though.
- Always check your tires for two things – tread and air pressure. You do not want to be driving on threadbare tires during extreme cold weather or snow as this could impact your ability to stay on the road. Your air pressure is also important as the extreme cold weather causes air to compress and could mean your tires are underinflated.
- Get winter tires. Many people have actually two sets of tires- the all-season tires are good year-round but winter months tires are specially created for the winter season and snowy / icy roads. The tread is slightly different. It might be worth the investment if you live in an extreme cold weather climate. Always carry the chains that are appropriate your car.
- Inspect the engine vehicle battery. Extreme cold weather temperatures (and even hot weather) can cause faster deterioration of the battery. Measure the voltage of your battery—it should be at 12.6 volts (check your owner’s manual for specific voltage requirements). Also, make sure the battery terminals and cables are not corroded and if needed, clean them well (cautiously). Firestone has a feature that is cool their website called the Virtual Car Battery Test. All you have to do is add the basic info of your vehicle, just like the car’s make, model, engine, and year, and you’ll get an assessment on how much life could be left in your battery. Of course, it’s only an approximation, but it can help!
- Add new antifreeze. It’s recommended that you clean the coolant out and add fresh antifreeze once a year.
- Get wintertime windshield wipers and use a fluid approved for winter to avoid it from freezing.
- Check out the brakes, braking system fluid, engine oil, exhaust, the defroster, heater, therefore the headlights.
- To add one last tip that is useful continue to keep at the very least a half-full tank of gas, but preferably even more. If you don’t often drive your vehicle during extreme cold weather, we recommend using a fuel stabilizer.
Long-Term Meal Storage
Build an long-term meal storage kit with the necessities to last for at least 7 to 14 days. Fourteen days might sound excessive but understand that many people just have sufficient food within their pantry to last them a few days. The stores will be very crowded right before and following the storm. Save yourself the time and trouble, and stockpile plenty and that means you can avoid every one of the hassles later on.
Generators, Flashlights, Headlamps, and Batteries
If the power goes out during extreme cold weather, having a backup supply is critical to your winter preparedness plan! Whether that’s a generator or a flashlight, you’ll feel at ease not to have to be in a pitch dark room by 5pm. If you’re using a gas generator, make sure that you use a fuel additive to keep the fuel fresh when the generator is not in use.
Make An Extreme Cold Weather Emergency Plan For Your Household
Consider the likelihood of a power outage occurring during extreme cold weather. How will you prepare for that? Also, consider that the storm may roll in harder than forecasted. If you’re at work, or the kids are at school, how do you want to reunite during the storm? We encourage all family members to discuss a communication and reunification plan.
Always include your children in the planning procedure so that they know very well what to do in case of a crisis. Remember to produce an evacuation plan together. You should decide two or three different places where you will go (to help you ride out the storm, whether it be a shelter or a friend / relative’s household) in case it becomes unsafe.
Evaluate Insurance Coverage
Make sure your insurance coverage covers damage triggered by winter storms and extreme cold weather. Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance coverage might cover the some damage from your plumbing, and this may include frozen pipes but it’s always better to be sure what exactly is covered before needing to use it. Call your insurance carrier and get a definitive answer.
In this article, we have covered many tips for extreme cold weather. This article was written to help all who live in areas of extreme cold weather or quickly changing weather patterns. With these extreme cold weather recommendations, you can definitely rest easy this winter and not have any problems when it comes to your safety. Do you have any other recommendations for extreme cold weather? Share them in the comments below so that other readers can benefit from your wisdom!