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  • Quick Tips to Keep Your Family and Home Warm During Frigid Temps

    If you live in Northeast Ohio, you know all too well, that we get some pretty bad  snowstorms and blizzards most winters. And if you are new to the area, here are some quick tips to help keep you and your family and home toasty warm and safe when these frigid temps occur.

    At Your Home

    Talk with your family to devise a safety plan of action on what to do to plan prior to a winter storm coming when you hear about one on the way on your local news station. Discussing winter storms ahead of time helps reduce fear and anxiety, especially in young children. If you lose power, be careful when using portable generators. Make sure your portable generator is outside of your home to keep carbon monoxide from coming into your home.

    If you are trying to shovel your driveway, or a neighbor’s, remember you should not shovel after eating or smoking, nor work to the point of sheer exhaustion. Life with your legs, not your back as well. And for certain, if you have any history of heart disease, please stay away from a shovel, period. It would be more ideal if you occasionally paid for a local snowplowing service during deep snow storms to come help plow your driveway should you need it done.

    If you have a fireplace, consider keeping a supply of firewood or coal, enough to cover you for the entire winter season. Be sure the fireplace is properly vented and in good working order and that you dispose of ashes securely and safely.

    Make sure you have a properly working heat source, like a furnace for your home, and are properly installed according to permit requirements and are clean and functioning well. Contact your local HVAC company and have them to a home visit to check your furnace is working properly.

    Is your home properly insulated? Go through and caulk and weather strip doors and windowsills to keep all cold air out as much as feasible. Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic on the inside to provide a little extra layer of insulation to keep the cold air out.

    Be wary of using electric heaters,  whether portable or fixed, and be sure it is certified by an independent testing company. Plus a heater directly into the wall rather than using an extension cord and unplug whenever you are not using it. And be careful using it around young children and pets.

    For Your Vehicle

    Have your vehicle winterized before the winter storm season to decrease your chances of being stranded in cold weather. Have a local mechanic check your antifreeze, wipes, windshield wiper fluid, your battery, car lights, thermostat, flashing hazard lights, ignition system, exhaust system, heater, brakes, oil and defroster.

    Install solid tires suitable for wintertime with good tread. All weather tires are usually adequate but some areas require vehicles to be equipped with snow tires with studs or chains.

    Keep the following inside your vehicle for you and the kids:

    1. Keep extra blankets inside your car during the winter season, as well as extra warm clothing in a bag, just in case you get stranded while driving.

    2. Keep an emergency supply kit.

    3. Keep either a bag of sand or non-clumping cat litter for generating traction under your wheels or traction mats too. And you can keep your walkways and steps less slippery that way as well.

    4. Keep your gas tank on the full side during the winter season in case it takes longer to get back home or you end up going slower on the roads or highway due to heavy traffic during a snow storm.