How to Prepare Your Home for Winter Emergencies

Winter weather may be romanticized through holiday songs, but the reality of a harsh winter can be surprising for many homeowners. Between snow, sleet and freezing rain, your home can be vulnerable to damage if the proper precautions aren’t taken, and this can put you and your family in a dangerous predicament.

Be Proactive About Heating

Annually, homeowners should be getting their heating and HVAC systems inspected. Be sure to do this before a storm is due; no one wants to face the cold without heat. Avoid a malfunction in an emergency and save money by keeping your systems in top shape through prevention instead of an urgent fix.

Sign Up for Local Alerts

Weather alerts and other emergency alerts are crucial to pay attention to in your area. Sign up for your community alert system to ensure you know about problems before they arise. Pay close attention to the Emergency Alert System and keep tabs on the Weather Channel to keep aware of any impending storms, allowing you to take action early.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes can lead to a burst pipe, and this can lead to costly damage. Proper insulation can mitigate or eliminate the issue, and insulating your pipes is simple. Consult the Department of Energy’s guide before you proceed, or consider hiring a professional to tackle the job on your behalf. Completing this task may be a chore, but you will prevent a frozen or burst pipe, and will benefit from an annual energy savings between 3-4%, according to

Check for Outdoor Hazards

Weak and dying branches or unsecured lawn decor can all spell disaster in a storm. Between persistent wind, snow buildup and ice accumulation, there is a lot that can cause damage to outdoor items. Assess your landscaping, paying special attention to tree branches that could break under the weight of snow and frost. These falling branches could spell disaster if they were to land on a high-traffic area, so be sure that you are maintaining your outdoor spaces during winter.

Have a Plan for a Temporary Power Outage

Winter storms can result in power loss. Extra blankets, candles, drinking water, non-perishable food, flashlights and a battery-operated radio are all must-haves. If you live in a rural area, you may want additional supplies and a backup generator. Find out what experts or first responders in the local area recommend you keep on hand.