Review Your Winter Equipment Checklist

Time: 1-2 hours

Winter is coming — are you ready for the cold weather? If you live in a snowy region, it's impossible to know exactly when that first storm might strike, so it's always best to be prepared early. From readying your snow removal equipment to prepping a portable generator, it's a good idea to look over your tools in advance. Here's what you need to know.

What's in it for you?

  • Easier snow and ice removal
  • Ability to ride out power outages
  • Peace of mind

Review Your Winter Equipment Checklist:

  1. Shovels: Inspect your shovel collection's condition. Replace or repair any broken shovels now while stores still have plenty available. Make sure you have one for everyone in the house, plus a portable one in the trunk of each car.
  2. Ice melt: Do you have rock salt or another de-icer handy? Stock up on this indispensable product to keep your property safe for pedestrians. It doesn't go bad, so buy in bulk.
  3. Snowblowers: Your snow blower should be tuned up once per year, and fall is the best time to do it. Schedule an appointment with a pro, or consider doing it yourself. You'll need to change the oil, check the spark plugs and belts, lubricate the chassis and drain the fuel for a complete job.
  4. Stock up on fuel: Your snow blower isn't much good without gas on hand, so fill that gas storage jug now. Keep gasoline in an approved storage container with a tight-fitting lid. It should be stored in the garage or a shed, away from heat and children. If you have a gas-powered generator, double up on your fuel supply.
  5. Check your generator: A portable generator that hasn't been used for a while needs a checkup. To do this, drain and refill the gasoline tank. Change the oil and inspect air and fuel filters, cleaning or replacing as needed. You should also check the spark plugs.
  6. Check with the neighbors: Sometimes it makes sense to pool your resources. Can you share a snow blower or take turns shoveling the walks? Maybe you can set up a phone chain to check on elderly neighbors, too. Planning ahead now to share the work will make things much easier when that blizzard finally strikes.
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