It’s wintertime in Michigan, which can mean cold weather, snow, and poor road conditions. In the past we’ve looked at emergency preparedness, staying safe when going outside in winter, and simple ways to winterize your car. Today on the blog we’re going to look at ways to prepare our homes for the challenges that come along with the winter months.
Winterizing Your Space (whether you rent or own)
- Check your fire alarm and carbon monoxide detectors. Here are some tips from the National Fire Protection Association.
- If you have a fireplace, make sure to check that too
- Make sure your gutters are clean and leaf-free
- Check the trees on your property and make sure that there are no hanging branches.
- Test your heat now to make sure everything is working properly before temperatures really start to drop.
- Click here to read tips from the Red Cross on how to avoid frozen pipes.
- If you rent, you can insulate your apartment using window insulation kits and/or door draft stoppers.
- Make sure your stairs/walkway are clear of snow and have been salted to remove ice.
- If you need to buy salt to remove ice, remember to buy it EARLY as it tends to sell out.
- Make sure you’re wearing shoes with good traction. If necessary, you can buy special shoe grips for winter weather (Most are around $20).
- Put a doormat by your door and make sure to wipe off your shoes before going inside.
- Once inside, switch from shoes to slippers or slipper socks with traction.
- If you use a cane, replace the plastic on the end of the cane or switch it out for a spike.
- Make a plan for snow removal. If you’re going to use a service, make sure to get everything set up in advance.
- Safety tips for shoveling snow yourself:
- If you’re unsure, talk with your doctor about whether you can shovel snow.
- Drink plenty of water but avoid caffeine since that can add stress to your heart.
- Fresh snow is lighter and easier to shovel. If you have to wait to shovel, it may be worth looking into hiring a service if you can.
- Go at your own pace and don’t be afraid to take breaks.
- Bend with your knees!
- Have a charged cell phone with you in case there’s an emergency.
- Know the signs of a heart attack.
- Click here for safety tips for using a snow blower.
- Consumers Energy CARE Program– (877) 448-9433
- DTE Energy Efficiency Assistance Program– (866) 796-0512
- Michigan Home Heating Credit
- State Emergency Relief (Assistance for energy-related expenses such as heating fuel)
- The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW)– 1-800-866-8429
- Washtenaw County Home Weatherization Program– (734) 544-3008.
- Washtenaw County Furnace Test and Tune Program– (734) 544-3005
NOTE: If you need to sign up for a program do so ASAP as they tend to fill up quickly!
Stay safe this winter!