Ahhhh, winter on the Connnecticut shoreline!  It’s a sunny 60 degrees today here in Niantic, but Scot Haney is crushing our vitamin D dreams with a prediction of nearly a foot of snow tomorrow.  Boooooooo!  (We still love ya though, Scot!)

I’m sure that you’ve already hit TriTown and Mermaid Liquors in preparation of the snow day, but is your house ready for it?  I mean snow days can be fun for both you and the kids, but you should be sure your home is safe prior to a big snowstorm.  So let’s run through a short, last-minute checklist.

A Warm House:

  • Are the curtains blowing?  If you failed to upgrade those drafty windows to a new and more energy-efficient model, we suggest a temporary fix.  Fill leaky window seams or cracks with weather stripping.  You can also use plastic to cover windows, ensuring cold air stays out and warm air stays in!
  • If you’re worried about possible power outages and you haven’t gotten around to installing a generator, consider turning up the heat. The warmer it is to start, the longer it will take to cool. This will keep your home warmer longer without a powered heat source.
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.  Carbon monoxide poisoning is of concern.  Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Keep these devices at least 20 feet from doors, windows, and vents.
  • Check your heat source to ensure you have enough fuel to get you through a cold spell.

Have The Right Tools:

  • Keep shovels and windshield scrapers where you can get to them easily.  (Don’t leave the driveway without cleaning the snow off of your car, unless you want to pay the State of CT for failing to do so.)
  • Add rock salt and kitty litter to your grocery list.  They add traction to slippery walkways and are perfect for the path to your car.  (Throw a bag in the trunk of your car, just in case.)
  • I know your phone has a flashlight, (make sure it’s charged!), but putting a fresh set of batteries in a good old fashioned flashlight is always a good idea.
  • If you have a snow blower, make sure you have gas to make it run.  Fill up your car while you’re at the station.  (I’m grabbing a lottery ticket too. ..come on tropical vacation!)

Emergency Stash:

  • We all laugh at the milk and bread people running to the nearest Stop & Shop but there is a method to their madness!  If you’re stuck in your house without power, a case of bottled water and stock of non-perishable food will come in very handy.  I’m speaking in terms of snowstorm survival, but also to those of us with family members who tend to get hangry.  Add Snickers to your list if necessary.
  • Check your emergency first aid kit, and make sure you have any necessary prescription medications on hand.
  • Make sure the extra blanket stash is washed and ready.

Put a reminder on your calendar for fall 2017 to winterize your home with a trusted local contractor, (uh hem), which will ensure a safe winter season for your family.  I hope this short, last-minute checklist will help to keep you and your loved ones safe and warm during this wacky CT weather.