Your home is your biggest investment, and just like any other investment, it's important to take the right steps to protect your home. During the winter, a blizzard can be devastating to a home and its occupants if you're not properly prepared for the upcoming storm. Here are some tips to get your home and your family ready for that next big cold front headed your way and to help you save on home insurance expenses, avoiding extra payments.
If you live in an area where winter storms and blizzards are common, and especially if they're often accompanied by power outages, you should get into the practice of stocking up on necessities. Canned goods and dry goods for sustenance, bottled water for drinking and other items that may be vital during a blackout (like flashlights and fresh batteries) should all be stored somewhere safe and easily accessible. Lighters or matches are another must-have, and don't forget a manual can opener.
Many people forget that if their electricity goes out, staying warm becomes a serious problem quickly. Be sure to have plenty of extra warm clothes and blankets on hand in case you lose your power. You should have some type of alternate heat source that's safe to use indoors; a wood-burning fireplace is ideal, as long as you have plenty of dry wood already stored inside. Make sure you have a lighter or some matchbooks stocked up as well.
Leaving the house for any reason during a winter storm is a bad idea. If you're caught out when a blizzard hits, look for shelter immediately and get off the road. It's smart to keep some of the same emergency supplies in your car as in your home in the event of a crisis: blankets, a heat source, some food and water, and emergency flares just in case.
Even in the most rural areas, your local news networks most likely warned you of the impending weather ahead of time. In order to prevent your home insurance quotes from going through the roof, prepare your house in advance from likely damage: cover your windows, block drafts coming in from around the doors, and make sure your roof, pipes and furnace are in good shape. If the power does go out and the house gets cold, leave a little water running to prevent your pipes from freezing, which could cause them to burst.
Practice Common Sense
Finally, use your best judgment to weather the storm. For example, although kids might be tempted to run outside and play during a lull in the storm, keep them inside and entertain them with crafts or art projects instead. Winter storms are unpredictable, and it's best to stay inside. Your best protection is to educate yourself ahead of time, and to be prepared with supplies and common sense once the storm does hit. Your best protection against increased home insurance quotes is to prevent as much damage to your home as possible during the storm, both inside and out, so take the proper precautions and try to stay safe and warm.