Important Home Maintenance and Safety Tips for Winter Storms
Snow seems relatively harmless, but western North Carolina winter storms can be devastating. To protect your investment, and minimize the risk of damage and danger, below are several tips for keeping you and your family safe:
- Know the forecast precipitation types: snow, sleet, or freezing rain. Just a quarter of an inch of freezing rain can bring down large limbs, trees, and knock out power.
- Check your home and roof for damage: Heavy winds, rain, and snow-melt can damage your roof. Check your roof after the storm and have damage repaired immediately.
- Salt your front steps and sidewalk: You can spread salt before the winter precipitation comes to help battle accumulating snow and ice.
- Shovel snow before it melts: Snow is much more difficult to remove after it melts and refreezes.
- Consider your pets: For small, mostly indoor dogs, lay down a tarp in your backyard before the snow. Remove it for a relatively wet and dry place for pets to potty.
- Check in on loved ones and the elderly: Make sure your neighbors have plenty to eat and plenty of heat.
Here at Wellington Estates, we have an excellent, professional maintenance team who works hard to make sure disruption from snow days is short-lived. However, it is important to prepare and maintain a home emergency kit, in case we lose power and travel is treacherous. Your home emergency kit should include:
- Basic first aid.
- Non-perishable foods.
- Safe, alternative heat. (beware of carbon monoxide)
- Flashlights, candles, batteries, etc.
- Drinking water.
- Extra blankets and coats.
- Books, board games, and family fun.
Important Travel Safety Tips During Winter Storms
Remaining safe and warm at home is always the best practice when winter storms affect Asheville, but if you must venture out, here are a few important tips to keep you and your family safe:
- Know the Conditions: Snow, ice, or a combination of both create very different driving surfaces. Snow generally provides more traction than freezing rain or sleet.
- Slow Down: Even if you have four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive capabilities, speed is almost always a factor in winter weather accidents.
- Maintain Momentum: Asheville and surrounding areas have diverse terrain and elevation. Maintain momentum going uphill. If you can't make it up a hill, safely turn around and try a different route.
- Kitty Litter: Pack some cheap kitty litter and a shovel in your trunk. The kitty litter can be used to help gain traction after you dig yourself out of a rut.
- Smooth and Steady: Whether braking or steering, avoid sudden, sharp movements. Leave plenty of distance between you and the cars in front.
During winter, you should keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. It includes many of the same items as your home emergency kit:
- Flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food, water, etc.
- Blankets and extra coats for warmth
- Emergency flares
- Extra fuel
- Comfortable, dry walking shoes
- A charged cell phone
Knowing what you are going to do in an emergency is one of the most important steps to protecting you and your family. At Wellington Estates, we recommend enjoying your snow day by walking to a local sledding hill and spending time with your neighbors and friends.