(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
With Friday’s snow storm bringing several inches of snow to Northeast Washington and some frigid temperatures, I think we can finally say that winter is here.
It’s being forecasted as a snowy and cold winter, which is something people in Chewelah and Colville have experienced before, but its always nice to be prepared for extraordinaire winter conditions.
Here are some tips to prepare for winter…
Bad weather could keep you at home, so make sure you have all that you need in case bad roads make driving a rough go. This could include baking supplies, easily stored foods, toiletries (don’t want to run out of toliet paper!), medicine (including prescription meds), cleaning supplies, batteries, light bulks, candles, matches, baby supplies and pet supplies.
BREAK OUT THE WINTER GEAR
If you stored them away for summer, break out the winter clothes before the real serious winter weather hits. Make sure you have your coats, hats, gloves, scarves, boots and then determine what you need to replace or repair. This gives you time to find affordable replacements instead of having to make a panic buy.
MAKE SURE YOUR CAR HAS WINTER GEAR
Along with warm clothing and blankets, important roadside emergency items like a first aid kit, flashlights, radio, pet supplies, sleeping bag, charger for cell phone, flares, jumper cables, traffic triangles, hand warmers, snow shovel and window scraper are always a good start. Make sure you have some non-perishable food and water because if a storm gets really bad you may have to be in your car for an extended period of time. Also keep some ice melt in your car as it can help you get some extra traction when stuck or you can throw it on walkways or driveways where your going to prevent falls.
TEST YOUR SNOW-CLEARING EQUIPMENT
Pull out that snow shovel or snow blower. Make everything is good-to-go. While you’re at it, restock your de-icer and rock salt.
PROTECT OUTDOOR ITEMS/FURNITURE
Make sure to bring in your outdoor recreational items in for the winter. Trampoline? Break it down? Pool? drain and do the necessary steps to winterize it. Pots and planters? Pack away for the winter. Getting everything in your yard ready for winter will protect them from the snow and elements which can degrade them. This will make spring cleaning easier too.
SHUT OFF OUTSIDE WINTER FAUCETS
Make sure you turn off all your outdoor winter faucets and allow them to drain. You can also install frost free sillcocks if you need to use an outdoor faucet during the winter.
TEND TO TREE AND BRANCHES
If you see tree branches hanging over important things during the fall, remember these can fall on those important things when full off snow during the winter. Make sure branches cannot cause roof damage, or fall on a car, or a power line.
HAVE YOUR CHIMNEY EXPECTED
Chimney fires are not fun and winter is when a lot of house fires happen because people are using their fireplaces. Have your chimney inspected by a chimney inspector as creosote buildup and obstructions in the chimney can cause a fire.
HAVE YOUR CAR SERVICED
You don’t want a breakdown during the winter, so give yourself the best chance heading into the winter by having it serviced. Focus on the battery, brakes, cables, spark plugs and tires.
USE A HUMIDIFIER
As some heating methods can make the air in your home dry, use a humidifier to prevent your skin from getting dry and flaky.
MAKE SURE YOU PET HAS A WARM PLACE TO SLEEP AND STAY
Make sure that your pets or farm animals have plenty of food and water, and are not overly exposed to extreme cold. Make sure that your dogs and cats have a place where they can get out of the wind and wet. Dog/cat houses raised or with nice bedding can be a good place for them. If temperatures drop to frigid levels, its always good to let them in the house too (Obviously a bit tougher for farm animals). Know what the temperature thresholds of your animals are.
ALWAYS CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST
Make sure you begin checking the weather forecast so you’re not surprised by a storm and understand what conditions you will be facing.
MAKE SURE YOUR GAS TANK IS FULL
If for some reason you become stranded in your car, this ensures you have the ability to keep your interior warm for an extended period.