Winter talk already?? It’s 70º outside!
Yes, but it is Winter Weather Preparedness Day in Iowa, and Winter Weather Preparedness Week in the U.S.
How prepared are you? Do you know what dangers we can expect this month through April?

Image courtesy of NWS Quad Cities

There are a few things to be ready for as temperatures outside continue to fall and snow creeps into the forecast more.
Firstly are you prepared? Do you have the necessary items to make it in an emergency?

Make sure your home is ready for winter, be sure to have these items in your ready to go.

Along with the items in this checklist, it is also a good idea to have a weather radio on standby if power is lost.

Other things to keep in mind that will help reduce damage to your home as well.
Simply winterize your home, add blankets to or insulation to walls and attics if they aren’t already. Install plastic coverings over windows to help keep cold air out.
Insulate pipes or keep them warm during the winter. The main issue with pipes in the winter is them bursting and the water damage than ensues. When temperatures drop significantly, allow faucets to drip a bit. Yes it might up the water bill a bit, but it will keep water from freezing in pipes and bursting. If pipes do burst it’s a good idea to know in advance where water valve shutoffs are located.

Outside your home it’s a good idea to make sure gutters are clean as well. Keeping leaves and branches out will help reduce the weight that is on the roofs during snow and ice events.
After the derecho in August making sure roofs are repaired can be difficult, but before good snow amounts start to fall make sure you can get that repaired as soon as possible. Leaky roofs can make it hard to handle the extra weight of snow and ice.

During the winter months we usually don’t just stay at home, here’s a few things to have ready in your car if travel can be done safely and is necessary.

Now that we have the items needed to be safe this winter here are a few things to keep in mind.
In the event of a winter storm it’s usually best to stay off the road as much as possible. Granted that can be tricky when we still need to go to work or get groceries. If travel is necessary, here is a few products the National Weather Service puts out that might help you decide whether or not you should travel.

For more information check out FEMA How To Prepare for a Winter Storm