Living in California, we don’t really have a huge change in how we live or drive during the winter. That also means we can be clueless when in areas that are more heavily impacted by severe winter weather. It was an adjustment for me when we lived the Netherlands. We had to use different windshield wiper fluid (so it wouldn’t freeze), deice all the windows, and watch out for black ice. Sometimes, even our car doors would be frozen shut!
Since I am far from being a winter weather expert, I thought you’d appreciate these tips of how to prepare for winter from MetLife Auto & Home® as much as I do.
How to Prepare for Winter Around the House
During severe storms, try to stay inside as much as possible. You can make adjustments around the house when the weather clears up.
- Clear sidewalks and driveways. Remove snow with a shovel or snow blower as soon as possible to prevent an
icy layer from forming on the pavement. Next, sprinkle the area with deicer to keep ice from building up.
- Remove snow from the roof. Layers of fluffy snow can absorb additional sleet or rain, creating the risk of a roof
collapse. Stand on the ground and remove excess snow from roofs, small sheds and pool covers with a snow
- Prevent ice dams. Snow that melts and then refreezes on a roof can cause leaks and unseen water damage in
your home. Place assembled ice melt socks every 5 – 10 feet to control runoff and prevent ice dams from forming.
Sometimes, we would sprinkle plain salt on the walkway near our front door. Otherwise, frozen moisture could make us take a nasty fall. Bicyclists had to be extra careful on the bike lanes as well.
How to Get the Car Ready for Winter
Unless you live in a metropolitan area where most rely on public transportation, you likely have a car to care for. These too need attention to be winter ready.
- Top off windshield washer fluid. Add a stronger winter cleaning variant to quickly clear away road grime, snow and ice.
- Remove snow or ice from car windows. Several states require all snow and ice to be removed from vehicles before traveling on the road. Removing all snow and ice from a vehicle will allow proper visibility and protect the safety of other motorists.
- Fill your tank. Keep the gas tank at least half full during cold weather months to help prevent fuel lines from freezing.
- Stock an emergency kit. Stash these suggested items in the trunk before traveling.
Smart Winter Driving Tips
Though it would be great to hibernate for the whole winter, reality will remind us that it’s just not possible for us humans. Life goes on and that means we’ll have to jump in the car and brave the elements.
- Adjust your speed. Posted speed limits apply to ideal driving conditions. Drive slowly and carefully, increase
following and stopping distances, and change lanes with care.
- Watch for black ice. Ramps, bridges, overpasses and underpasses are the first areas to freeze, and the last to thaw. Know what to do if your car starts skidding on black ice.
- Keep calm. Remain calm if you’re stuck in a snowbank or stranded by the side of the road. Call 911 and stay with your vehicle while waiting for help.
- Pay attention. Snowy and icy conditions require that you concentrate on the road, instead of search for that elusive game on the radio or the playlist on your iPod.
I mentioned black ice above. That’s some scary stuff to encounter on the road. Black ice refers to sections of road that have been frozen over. You can’t see it but hitting a patch of it can lead to a bad accident. If you are in an area prone to black ice, it’d be a good idea to familiarize yourself with “How to Deal with Black Ice on the Road” to minimize any damage.
Dealing with Winter Weather – Better Safe Than Sorry
Unfortunately, none of us are immune to the threat of disasters and accidents. Prepare as we might, sometimes things just happen that we have no control over. In those cases, it’s smarter to plan ahead than procrastinate and pay a fortunate for after the fact. Better safe than sorry! You might be surprised at how low monthly rates might be. Get an instant insurance quote now.
How do you prepare your cars and homes in the winter?
I was compensated for this post as a MetLife Preferred Blogger. All opinions are my own.
MetLife Auto & Home is a brand of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company and its affiliates: Economy Preferred Insurance Company, Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company, Metropolitan Direct Property and Casualty Insurance Company (CA Certificate of Authority: 6730; Warwick, RI), Metropolitan General Insurance Company, Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty Insurance Company (CA COA: 6393; Warwick, RI), and Metropolitan Lloyds Insurance Company of Texas, all with administrative home offices in Warwick, RI. Coverage, rates, and discounts are available in most states to those who qualify.