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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.