Preparing for Ice and Snow: Before and After the Storm

Close up of snow weighing down the branch of a pine tree.If the recent weather in New England is any indication, we’re in for a snowy winter. While Massachusetts residents are no stranger to heavy snowfall and ice, some underlying challenges and hazards can catch us by surprise. Preparing for ice and snow requires a combination of precautions and post-storm alertness. To lend a helping hand, we’re here to provide tips on handling some of the more dangerous obstacles.

Preparing Your Home for the Ice and Snow

While we enjoy the sight of falling snow, the dangers that it poses can make homeowners uneasy. Fortunately, many winter safety concerns can be laid to rest if some precautions are taken before the snowstorm begins, such as:

  • Stock Up: Ensure you have nonperishable foods, water, and flashlights set aside in case you lose power for a long period. If given the opportunity, investing in a backup generator can also be extremely helpful.
  • Set Your Thermostat: Don’t set your thermostat any lower than 65 degrees during harsh winter weather, as it could result in frozen or burst pipes.
  • Trim Your Trees: If any of the limbs of the trees on your property overhang your roof, deck, or vehicles, try to have the branches removed before the storm.
  • Clear Your Gutters: If you haven’t cleared your gutters, especially after the autumn leaves have fallen, ensure they’re clean enough to allow the draining of melting snow.

While homeowners insurance will cover most winter storm damage, winter precautions remain necessary, as physical harm can result from these unforeseen mishaps.

Preparing for Ice and Snow on the Road

If you haven’t gotten around to winterizing your car, now is the time. But if a strong Nor’easter is on the horizon, there are a few last-minute steps to make sure your vehicle is prepared. Some simple preventative measures include:

  • Prep an Emergency Kit: Even if you don’t plan on leaving your home, ensure you have an emergency kit in your car containing nonperishable foods, flares, flashlights, and blankets. An unpredictable emergency may require you to drive somewhere.
  • Avoid Walking Near the Road: Dangerous snow and ice conditions don’t just affect drivers but also pedestrians. It’s wise to be cautious when walking outside, as not only is your risk of slipping and falling higher, but you’re also at risk of being hit by an out-of-control car.
  • Drive Defensively: Use defensive driving techniques, and keep a wide breadth between you and the car in front of you. Also, be wary that posted speed limits account for dry pavement, so drive well below the speed limit during harsh weather conditions.

Of course, the most obvious solution is to avoid driving during the storm. A storm can quickly generate slick conditions on the roads that can result in an accident. If there’s no need to leave your home, don’t.

Cleaning Up After the Snow

After the storm has ceased, a dense layer of snow will likely be covering the roof of your home or business. Clear the snow off as early as possible using an extendable snow rake or by hiring a professional to avoid home damaging leaks or ice dams. It’s also important to remove your vehicle from the snow and clean your vehicle of all snow to prevent it from obstructing your vision or from sliding off your hood or roof and endangering other drivers on the road.

Preparing for ice and snow is simple and could save you from costly or even injurious mishaps. Luckily, there’s a lot of winter preparation you can do to avoid potential dangers, but the season is often known for springing unfortunate surprises on people. At TJ Woods Insurance, we can help you cover unpreventable damages by providing you with the best homeowners, business, or auto insurance for your needs. Contact us today, to discover how you can stay protected.