Six Tips to Help with Cold Weather Prep Author Icon Written by Trusted Choice Author Icon
Written by Trusted Choice

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6 tips to help with cold weather prep

Winter can be a fun time of year. It's important to make sure you prepare so you can spend your time having fun, instead of taking care of preventable problems. Winterizing your home and cars, taking care of some basic home maintenance items, and packing a cold-weather emergency kit are smart ways to prevent common problems brought on by frigid temperatures and unruly weather. 

Here are six ways you can get ready for cold weather this year. 

1. Get your vehicles ready for winter

Driving in winter weather is especially dangerous in some parts of the country. While you can't control the road conditions, you can prepare your car to perform at its best during the coldest months of the year. 

Have your mechanic service your vehicle and take care of any routine maintenance. Install winter-ready windshield wipers, switch to winter tires if you have them on hand, and make sure your washer fluid receptacle is full. 

Pack a winter safety kit in the trunk that includes a flashlight with batteries, reflective warning triangles, windshield cleaner, a first aid kit, ice scraper, jumper cables, and extra blankets. If snow and ice are common where you live, consider adding a bag of sand for traction, a folding snow shovel, winter boots, and hand warmers to your emergency car kit. 

2. Store seasonal vehicles

If you have a classic fair-weather-only vehicle, fall is the ideal time to winterize and store it for safekeeping. The same goes for campers, pull-behind trailers, side-by-sides, and motorcycles. If you can't (or prefer not to) use it in the winter, take the necessary steps to protect your valuable seasonal vehicles when it's time to store them for a few months. 

classic car may require a trip to your mechanic for an oil change and coolant fill. Check the tires, hand wash it, and clean the interior before storing your car. 

If you have a camper that you'll store during the winter months, be sure to drain the water system. Exposure to freezing temperatures can ruin a camper's entire water system. Remember to clean out the refrigerator and leave the doors open to avoid creating a permanently smelly camper fridge. Turn off LP gas appliances and remove batteries from clocks and smoke alarms as well. 

3. Close your pool

In many areas of the country, it's necessary to close your pool when the weather gets colder. Properly closing your pool for the season means that you'll be able to enjoy it again as soon as the weather warms up in the spring. You may need to remove the water, depending on the climate where you live. If your pool never freezes but it's too cool outside to use it, be sure to add a safety cover and keep your pool pump hooked up. 

4. Check your home 

Drafty windows, a faulty or dirty chimney, or a malfunctioning furnace can make the change of seasons miserable. Before the weather cools off, consider handling a few of these potential problems. 

Make an appointment to have your furnace checked and be sure to change your furnace filters. If you have a fireplace, clean the glass, check that the blower and pilot light is functional, and book a professional inspection. A wood-burning fireplace may present additional dangers, so be sure to have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a local expert. 

It's easy to fix drafty windows by installing specially designed and invisible shrink wrap over the window casing. There's still time to replace malfunctioning and broken windows before winter, though. Make an appointment to talk with a window repair or replacement expert about how to increase the energy efficiency of your home's windows. 

5. Protect against porch pirates

During the holidays, theft of delivered packages from front porches reaches an all-time high. Delivery services protect their interests by documenting a successful delivery with a photo or by requiring a signature. If you aren't monitoring your front door, your packages may go missing, leaving you unable to get your money refunded. 

Consider adding a video doorbell so you can retrieve packages upon delivery. With a smart doorbell camera, you can even capture images if someone steals your delivery. If you have the space, consider adding a lockbox to your front porch area. A lockbox, secured to the railing or floor, makes it impossible for thieves to take your packages. 

6. Check your insurance coverage

Call your independent insurance agent and do a quick check of your car insurance and homeowners insurance coverages. Make sure that your cars, recreational vehicles, and home have the coverage you need in case of a damage-causing accident or incident. 

Reach out to your local agent to review your home, auto, and recreational vehicle insurance coverage before winter. We're here to support you, answer all of your questions, and ensure that your property is covered so you can enjoy a peaceful fall and winter season. If you don’t have one, you can find an independent insurance agent today. 

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