Last minute preparations for winter’s arrival
If you were hoping for a mild winter after last year’s polar vortex, prepare to be disappointed. . AccuWeather.com predicts plentiful rain, snow, ice and cold for most US regions, including areas such as the Gulf States and the Tennessee Valley.
While bountiful snow might be a cause for celebration for winter sports aficionados, according to the Insurance Information Institute, winter-related damage is only surpassed by tornado and hurricane damage. To pass this winter safely, run through this essential checklist before the bitter cold sets in:
- Update your renter’s insurance. You might associate windstorms with warm summer days, but the winds of winter can be even more dangerous due to freezing temperatures. Resident Shield provides coverage for loss associated with windstorm damage. Resident Shield also provides liability coverage for accidental physical injuries – like say, a visitor slipping in a puddle of melted snow in your hallway and breaking an arm.
- If you haven’t gotten to it yet, check if your apartment’s heating system works properly. Even if you live in area that is expected to see a mild winter, that doesn’t mean you won’t be hit with a few days of bone-chilling cold. Should your heating system seem anything but 100 percent perfectly functional, put in a maintenance request now.
- Check again if all your windows and doors close and insulate properly. There might be smaller cracks letting in cold air that you might have not noticed during a mild October afternoon. See that they are fixed as soon as possible. Not only do they let cold air in and skyrocket your heating bill, but they can be a breeding ground for molds.
- Check if space heaters work properly. If they don’t, have them fixed by a specialist or buy new ones from reputable retailers. It only takes one errant spark to be facing a disaster.
- Speaking of home fires, don’t forget to check on at least a monthly basis if your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms work properly and have charged batteries.
- Be prepared for power outages. A bitter snowstorm can down power lines, so have extra thick blankets , flashlights and candles on hand. But never leave candles or a lit fireplace unattended. Never place flammables near them. Make them inaccessible to pets.
- If you own pets, cold winter days can be quite the challenge. Not only are you reluctant to go out into the cold, but your furry friend might be too. It’s very important however, that animals get proper exercise in winter months as well. Not only can they act out if they don’t, it can affect their health as well. Scope your neighborhood or city out for indoor dog parks. If you can make it an indoor dog park, go for it. Not only will your puppy get a work-out in a safe environment, both you and him could end up making new friends.
- If dog parks are not an option, make sure your dog’s winter gear still fits him properly and don’t forget to protect their paws too. There are special ointments and formulas you can apply to your dog’s paws before going outside, that will protect the sensitive skin from cold and all the nasty chemicals outside. Plan for days when going out won’t be an option and pick up some interactive dog toys, such as treat puzzle games.