For many parts of the country, the heavy snowfall has started. Snow is beautiful, when it isn’t 2 feet deep and making life difficult or dangerous. A little snow on the ground is gorgeous and really helps to get you in the holiday spirit. If you live in an area where heavy snow is common, you are probably prepared to deal with the side effects. For those that are not used to dealing with the aftermath of a winter storm, these tips will help you prepare for some of the chaos that ensues and help you get through without any real trouble.
1. Go shopping before the snow starts to fall. In fact, go shopping in August if you can. You don’t want to be one of the last people to the store to get what you need to ride out winter. Things to add to your shopping list include; snow shovel (metal are best, flimsy plastic will snap), roof rake, ice scrapers, rock salt and sandbags.
2. If you have the cash and you live in an area where snow is going to be a part of your life, invest in a snow thrower (snow blower). People never realize how brutal snow shoveling is until they have to get out and do it several times a day, every day for a month.
3. If you have livestock, chickens, goats or whatever, you have twice as much work. You will want a path cleared for you to get to their food and shelters and maybe a little area for them to walk around in. They need exercise to stay healthy.
4. Use your roof rake everyday if you are in one of those storm patterns that brings snow daily. You will need to pull the snow off your home’s roof, the barn, garage and any outbuildings. Don’t wait until it is a foot deep.
5. Shovel the areas you need before the snow is too deep. Snow is very heavy and it gets tough to push after just a few inches on the ground.
6. Most importantly, be prepared to go without power. This is almost a given anytime there is a snowstorm. You need to have a back up heat source. If you don’t have a fireplace or a woodstove, you need to have a generator that can either run your furnace or a space heater. Your life depends on it. You may not be able to get out to get to a friend’s house or a hotel.
7. Have chains for your vehicle. Ideally 4wd rigs are best if you live in areas where snow is common, but front wheel drive vehicles are often just as good. Chains will help you get up hills or out of your driveway if needed.
8. Have plenty of food, water, flashlights and toilet paper on hand. If you can’t get out to get to the store, you are going to be sheltering in place. Always be prepared.
9. Have winter gear. Again, buy this stuff in August. Shop the thrift stores and have extras on hand. You absolutely need boots, coats and gloves to take care of all your outside snow duties.
These are just some of the things you can expect to deal with. Snow can be a great thing if you are prepared to deal with. Enjoy the beauty of it and stay warm and safe.