People living in Canada know how the winters here tend to turn wild and extremely cold. For us Canadians, there’s always a lot to prepare for before winter; from our homes to our cars. Apart from the usual bitter cold, the heavy snow storms and blinding blizzards affect every aspect of our lives. We have to literally calculate the time it will take to get to work or the grocery store. Given the severity of winter here, it’s very important that each and every one of us is fully prepared to avoid any serious consequences.
Some General Tips:
· Make sure you’ve bought some reliable tools and have readied your survival kit that you might have to use, in case of an emergency.
· Don’t go out before checking the weather forecast.
· If there was a snow storm a day or night before, don’t bother removing all of that snow on your own. It’s really useless and you’ll only be wasting so much of energy with just a shovel or some high tech snow scrapper.
· Don’t drive your car until or unless you’ve removed every bit of snow (even that from the roof). This is because as soon as the interior of your car warms up the snow you left on the roof might fly off like a Frisbee and may land on the wind screen of some other car.
· It’s extremely important that you keep your head properly covered if you don’t want to catch a cold or shiver even when you’ve properly wrapped yourself in cardigans, boots and gloves.
Preparing Your Home:
· Make sure you have new programmable thermostats installed so they can automatically function with the changing temperature. An efficient thermostat, which adjusts itself during unexpected weather conditions, is something you definitely need during winters. These will not just help you save on your heating bills but are also easier to manage, as they only turn on when the temperature drops down.
· Get your heating systems and furnaces checked by a professional.
· The filter in your furnace needs to be replaced, they sometimes can result in a pipe burst, or if clogged, may be wasting energy. This is not just dangerous but can also cost you more on heating bills.
· Make sure you don’t place any wooden furniture within the close proximity of your heater (if you are using any) or fireplace.
· Remove furniture, lids or drapes from your heating vents.
· Don’t forget to put new batteries in your smoke detectors and other equipment that works with batteries.
· If you have a fireplace then it is a good rule of thumb to get it prepared in case of a power cut. Also, don’t forget to stock up on a good amount of fire wood.
· Get your fans reversed to be used as warmers than chillers. The usual counter clockwise rotation of your fans makes your rooms chillier even when the heater is working.
· Properly seal every gap or opening in your home that probably would result in air or heat leak. Cover all open pipes, even in basement, outdoors, attic or crawlspace.
· Make sure your attic is insulated because that is where the heat will rise and further warm up your home.
· Unclog all your gutters and pipelines because if the snow gets trapped in a clogged gutter it can result in leaks and bursts.
· Trim your hanging tree branches so that they don’t fall and cause accidents from all the snow weight.
· Stock, store and be prepared with an emergency kit, and all other essentials like food, water, medicines, flash lights, extra blankets, jackets and wood.
Preparing Your Car:
You know it is not just about preparing your home but to ensure complete safety you must have your car properly prepared to deal with the worst of driving conditions or to use it as a bug out vehicle.
· Every vehicle has specific needs, before you plan to drive off on a snow covered road, make sure your car has the correct oil for the extreme weather conditions.
· Check your vehicle’s batteries and tires and make sure they are in a good work condition. Your battery connections should be perfectly plugged and corrosion-free. Either get snow tires (highly recommended) or keep the manufacturer recommended pressure for your tires, checking their condition, daily.
· Your windshield wipers should be properly functioning so that you don’t get blinded even with the slightest of snow.
· Fill your radiator with a 50-50 proportion of water and anti-freeze.
· Make sure your gas tank is always full during the winters.
· The most important tip of all is to get your brakes checked to avoid any accidents on a slippery road.
Putting Together Your Emergency Kit:
A prepper without emergency kits in his/her car and home is no prepper at all. So here are a few essentials you need in a lifesaving and well stocked emergency kit for your home and car.
· Warm clothes, emergency blankets boots, hats and gloves
· Water and food
· Survival knife
· First aid kit (with all the medical supplies you or anyone in your family would need)
· Jumper Cable (for your car’s emergency kit)
· A sand and salt bag
· Fire starters