1Winter storms can be devastating. Wind, water or snow damage, and trees hitting your home and automobile can quickly cause big problems. While there are some emergencies you can’t prepare for, these 12 tips will make it easier to handle the storms that come your way this winter.
Tip #1: Check Your Homeowners or Renters Insurance Policy
When it comes to storm damage, what will your insurance company cover? What is your deductible? Make sure you have a solid understanding of what expenses you’ll have if you’re hit with storm damage over the winter months. You should also be familiar with how to contact your insurance company and what you can expect them to cover.
Tip #2: Examine Your Car Insurance Policy
What kind of insurance policy do you have on your vehicle? Will it cover damage that occurs if, for example, a tree hits your car? What about water damage? Make sure you know what your car insurance policy will cover if you’re hit by winter storm damage.
Tip #3: Build Your Savings
Winter storm damage can do a number on you financially, so make sure you have the savings in place to handle it. Set aside a little extra money from each paycheck so that if there’s a winter emergency, you can be confident that your family is covered.
Tip #4: Develop an Evacuation Plan
If a winter storm severely damages your home and you need to leave, where will you go? How will you get there? What will you do with your pets? Prepare an evacuation plan that will allow you to safely navigate the storm.
Tip #5: Make Sure You Have a Heat Source
If the power goes out in the middle of a winter storm, how will you keep your family warm? You can survive for a long time without the luxuries associated with electricity, but heat is a necessity. From a wood stove to a generator, make sure you have a plan in place for keeping your family warm.
Tip #6: Stay Home If You Can
During a winter storm, first responders need the roads to be as clear as possible so that they can reach people in need of help. Make sure that your winter storm plan includes staying at home, if possible, until the bad weather has passed.
Tip #7: Pack Your Bags
If you and your family do have to leave suddenly, what will you need to take with you? Pack bags that include clothing and essentials like medication for each family member, and keep the bags near the door. In addition to your physical to-go bag, prepare your financial to-go bag [J(D1] as well.
Tip #8: Winter-Proof Your Home
Before a storm becomes a problem, make sure that you’ve sealed any weather stripping around your home. Check the roof for leaks. Take a look at the doors and windows and make sure they’re solid and ready to withstand the storm.
Tip #9: Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
When the power goes off, many people turn to alternate heat sources to keep warm–and many of those have increased carbon monoxide risks. Make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed and that the batteries are fresh.
Tip #10: Prep the Pantry
Your family will need to eat through the storm. While you don’t wait until the last minute so that you don’t have to fight other people for bread, milk, and toilet paper, you do want to make sure you have food on hand. Make sure you have food that is shelf stable and easy to prepare even without power. Peanut butter sandwiches and chips might be boring, but they’re also filling and nutritious.
Tip #11: Check Your Car
Before winter strikes, prep your car for unexpected winter storms. Make sure you have good winter tires and that your windshield wipers work well.
Tip #12: Print Out Essential Information
Do you know how to recognize signs of hypothermia, or how to treat frostbite? If the power goes out, you may lose internet connection along with it, so go ahead and print out anything that might be essential to keeping your family safe and healthy through the storm.
Preparing for a winter storm physically and financially can help you weather them more effectively this winter. With these tips, your family will be in a better position to handle the challenges of the upcoming season.
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