Winter Weather Tips by Those that Know

There are plenty of areas that are getting hit with snowstorms that are breaking records. Anytime you have records being broken when it comes to the weather, people are going to have a tough time adjusting. Sometimes, you can’t just ride it out. You have to be prepared to be stuck at home for days on end, with the kids stuck home from school.

Areas that are not used to or prepared for snow are going to suffer the worst. Learn from the folks who live in areas that get plenty of snow. Those are the people who know how to ride out a storm in relative comfort without any major damage to their home.

Here are some tips from those that have been there, done that.

Roof Rakes

If your home is in an area that isn’t accustom to heavy snowfall, you are going to need this. Snow is heavy. You need to pull it off the roof before it causes major structural damage or collapses altogether. If you missed the boat and didn’t get one before they all sold out (which they will) a metal leaf rake will work. Scrape the snow as soon as you can.

Snow Shovel

Again, these are going to go fast. Shovels that are metal are going to be a little more durable. If you are dealing with heavy, wet snow, a metal shovel is best. Keep your walkways clear—stay on top of this. Once things start to melt, the slush hits and then it freezes and then you have a big, dangerous mess.

Supplies

Keep supplies like flashlights, candles and portable cell phone chargers on hand. Heavy snow can knock down powerlines or cause tree limbs to fall, taking down a line. You will also need to keep some non-perishable food on hand. Don’t break into the non-perishables first. Eat the leftovers out of the fridge first.

Heat

If you don’t have a second source of heat, you need to get one. A space heater can keep one room warm should your furnace break down. You are not going to be the only one having furnace trouble. You could end up on a waiting list for days. During that time, you need to be able to stay warm. If you are dealing with a power outage, a space heater isn’t going to help. A woodstove is ideal, but if it isn’t possible, know how to keep warm without power.

Time

Give yourself plenty of time if you have to drive in the snow. You can’t expect to jump on the freeway and do the posted speed limit. Take it easy. Have supplies in your vehicle, just in case you get stranded or find yourself stuck in traffic because of an accident. Take along things like kitty litter and a snow shovel. If you do slide off the road, kitty litter thrown under the tires can give you some traction. If you have went into a snowbank, you will need the shovel.

Dress for the Weather

Even if you are just running to the store or dropping the kids off at school, dress like you will be walking through the snow. Wear boots and take along a coat, hat and gloves. If you do happen to get stranded, you don’t want to be walking for help wearing your tennis shoes and without a coat.

Snowy weather can be fun and it will provide plenty of entertainment for the kids. Be ready to hang out and enjoy the time together. It is only temporary.

9 Tips for Riding Out a Winter Storm

snowFor 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.snow WV
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.

Preparing for Snowpocalypse 2016

snowIt happens every year in one part of the country or another. A major snowstorm will paralyze a region for days. This leaves inhabitants grappling with the difficulty of getting to work, school and to the store to get basic supplies. This is why you must be prepared to hunker down for a few days while the area recovers and snowplows can get the snow off the road.

Heavy snow is almost surely going to knock out the power, which means you have an added difficulty to deal with when things are already tough. You need to be ready the day before the storm hits. Trying to get the supplies you need to ride out the storm the day of is difficult. You won’t be the only person who waited until the last minute. It would be a really good idea if you were ready to shelter in your home for several days, any day of the year.

The following list of items will help you stay safe as you hang out at home for a few days.empty shelves

Non-perishable food items; canned foods, dehydrated foods and freeze-dried foods
Flashlights, lanterns and lots of spare batteries
Bottled water—if you are on your own well
Peanut butter
Crackers
Blankets—lots of blankets to help keep you warm if the power does go out
Sterno burners to cook your food
A generator is great if you have your own home
Board games
Deck of cards
Books, magazines
Solar charger for cell phone, laptop/tablets
Coffee percolater and coffee
Emergency candles and matches
Warm clothing

Be prepared to spend your time in one room of the house and close the doors to the rest of the rooms if the power goes out. The smaller the room, the easier it is to heat with your body heat and candles. NEVER burn any kind of fuel in a closed room. Put on your coat and beanie and wrap up in a warm blanket.

Don’t let the lack of power and inability to leave your home get you down. Enjoy the downtime and spend some quality time with family. It isn’t so bad eating by candlelight and playing old fashioned games. Reading books or simply having a real conversation with your family is also pretty exciting. Who knows, you may just come to appreciate being unplugged for a bit.