We’ve had our share of inclement weather in Detroit this year. In January alone, we faced “Snowpocalypse” one week, rain and 40-degree temperatures the next, followed by a drop in temperatures and ice-covered roads. Getting yourself and your home ready for the winter can be as simple or as complicated as you make it, but getting ready for winter inside and outside the home can save money and keep you and your family safe.
Inside the Home
Money saving tip
If you’re like me, you might have procrastinated when it came to getting your house or apartment ready for winter. This year, I didn’t put the plastic over my windows until AFTER a big winter storm in January. After I put the plastic over just a few of my windows, I could tell less cool air was coming in. More importantly, my energy bill was less painful to open.
According to the National Safety Council, house fires are more common during the winter than in other seasons. Cooking, candles, fireplaces and space heaters are all potential causes of a house fire. Make sure the batteries in your fire alarms are still good. Other things to consider are having a fire extinguisher in your house and making sure your chimney is cleaned and inspected every year.
Outside the Home
Money saving tip
I keep one or two bags of kitty litter in my trunk through the winter. The extra weight may help keep your car from slipping on snow and ice. As an added benefit, if you get stuck in the snow, you can pour some of the kitty litter under your tires to help create the needed traction to get out. Kitty litter is an inexpensive way to stay safe in the winter. Plus, if you have cats, you’ll have some time off from buying kitty litter in the spring.
Buy or make an emergency kit for your car. If you’d rather have a kit without having to round up everything you need, you can always buy a prepackaged emergency kit from the store. If you decide to build your own safety kit, it should include a few staples during the winter months. In my trunk, I keep a bag with an extra pair of gloves, a first aid kit, cheap throw blankets, a flashlight with extra batteries, matches, a tow rope, jumper cables, breakable hand warmers, and a few bottles of water. In-store kits can include a lot more or a lot less than that depending on what you’re specifically looking for.
Ready.gov has a lot more detailed information about getting ready for winter weather before, during or after storms and extreme cold.
What do you do to get ready for the winter? Share your tips and tricks with us here!