photo courtesy of minnpost.com As exterior home improvement contractors in the Minneapolis and St. Paul MN area, we're vitally concerned with helping Twin Cities homeowners protect their homes from the ravages of Mother Nature here in the Midwest. But we're also concerned about the safety of those who own those homes as well. This winter has brought extremely severe weather our way, and we wanted to pass along some info to prepare you for what might still be to come, since winter isn't quite over yet. There are always tips that you should keep in mind when the ice, heavy snow and power outages are upon you. Safety for you, your family and your home is top priority when the winter comes your way. Minneapolis is known for their snow storms; being prepared for them if you live in the area can help ensure that nothing bad happens when the snowstorm comes visiting.
- Put together a storm box – Putting together a box with batteries, flashlights, cash, candles, matches, radio and water can be useful if you are out of power. If the home has to be evacuated, make sure to leave well ahead of time and plan on where you're going.
- Have a to-do list for a storm – You want to ensure that everything is filled up, ready to go and that you're not out of out important things such as medications before it is too late to leave your home. On the to-do list, you should also add numbers that might be important such as police, relatives, insurance companies, doctors and radio stations.
- Grab some ice – You want to place this ice in a cooler to keep the items in your fridge cold while you're out of power. Before you lose power, turning up the fridge to the highest setting can ensure that they stay colder longer when the power does go out. Tape it closed to ensure that no one opens it while you have no power.
- Store some water away – You can keep bottled water somewhere stocked up or just grab a lot of well water if you have a well system. Once the power is off, you're not going to be able to get the water from the well. If there is water in the bathtub, this can be used to flush the toilet.
- Obtain an automatic generator system – This is a permanently installed system right outside of your home. You're able to hook it up to gas lines that are already installed. If the power goes out, the generator then takes over and runs the electrical and other items throughout your home. Using this can eliminate the need for a lot of things while the power is out.
- Inspect the sump pump in your basement – Heavy rains, melting snow and so on can do a number on your basement if you're not prepared. You want to ensure that the sump pump is fully operational before the storm hits. It should be able to remove any moisture or water that makes its way into the basement. Make sure to have a back up battery pack for it in case the power goes out and check all of the drainage systems to ensure that they are not clogged.