A guide to surviving the cold

Though the holiday season is over, winter is far from over. Temperatures across the country are dipping into the negatives, and we are officially over the snow.

Unfortunately, there is only more to come and since there’s not much we can do to stop it (well, there’s nothing we can do to stop it, actually), we are just going to have to bear it.

If you’re feeling as if you couldn’t possibly survive more winter and are eons away from properly preparing your life for the rough weather ahead, fear not.

Here is your guide to surviving winter

How to Prep Ahead of Time

If you’re ahead of the game on the oncoming weather, then serious kudos to you.

You aren’t going to be left scrambling to sort things out as the snow begins to fall, and you will definitely be the envy of all those last-minute people. So here’s how you can prepare your home and car for the harsh weather.

1. Seal your windows.

Seal Windows
One of the biggest battles of cold weather is keeping the cold air out, and the warm air in.

Unfortunately, not all of us have fabulously insulated homes, and drafts are commonplace for many. The most popular (and effective) solution for this is to seal your windows.

If you’re looking for a cheap and DIY fix, then grab yourself some plastic wrap and start wrapping.

If you’re willing to drop a bit of cash to keep warm, invest in a window insulation kit. 

2. Get a generator

The chances of power outages during major storms is pretty likely, and there really is no worse time to lose that heat and electricity.

Thankfully, we’ve got a backup plan: a generator for your home. Have one on-hand just in case.

When warmer weather finally makes it way into your life again, you can call up Closetbox to take your generator to storage so it’s not taking up precious space in your home.

Then, when winter comes back again next year, as it always does, Closetbox will bring that generator back to you, just in case you need it.

3. Purchase a home emergency kit

Purchase Home Emergency Kit for Winter Storm
In case you find yourself out of power during a winter storm, you will want to have a few things on hand. Here are the top ones:

  • Non-perishable food and snacks
  • A gallon of water per person, per day
  • Extra blankets to bundle up with
  • Battery-operated flashlights and lantern
  • Fully-charged cell phone and extra battery packs

4. Purchase a car emergency kit

A storm may hit while you’re in your car, and you do not want to be stuck unprepared. Richard Reina, product training director at CARiD.com shared a list of must-haves for your car:

  • Snow brush
  • Ice scraper
  • Personal emergency kit
    • Blanket
    • Flashlight
    • Portable shovel
    • Flares
    • Non-perishable snacks

5. Prep your car for the worst

Winter Snow Tires
In addition to your car’s emergency kit, there are a few things Reina suggests you do prior to the onset of harsh winter weather:

  • Invest in winter tires for traction
  • Top off washer fluid because you’re going to be using that stuff like it’s going out of style
  • Ensure the radiator antifreeze level is where it should be

The scientists over at Gold Eagle suggest that you swap out your car’s oil for a winter-grade one when the cold hits. “The colder the weather, the thinner you want the oil in your engine to be. The best practice is switching to an oil with a lower cold weather viscosity grade,” they say.

How to Handle The Cold Last-Minute

We aren’t all great planners — some of us are inevitably procrastinators.

Though the surprise of waking up to a massive winter storm may not be ideal for last-minute folk, all is not lost.

Here’s your guide.

1. Switch the direction of your ceiling fan.

Reverse ceiling fan direction
Wait, what?

Our buddies over at Gold Eagle filled us in on some great info: “By changing your ceiling fan’s direction to clockwise, you can save up to 15% on heating costs.”

How does that work?

They filled us in on that too: “A clockwise moving fan pushes the rising warm air down along the walls to the floor.”

Simply flip the switch on your fan to reverse the direction, and get ready for some savings.

2. Opt for heating yourself over heating your home

While your intuition may tell you to turn up the thermostat in your home when the cold weather hits, you should instead focus on heating yourself.

Close the doors to rooms that aren’t used much, invest in a space heater, and bundle yourself up as much as possible.

3. Run water

Run Water to Keep Pipes From Bursting
Cold weather like this is just asking for pipes to freeze.

To avoid this, run just a trickle of water in your faucets.

4. Connect with your neighbors

If you find yourself in a serious winter storm, you may need some help from your neighbor.

By downloading the NextDoor app, you’ll be able to stay in-tune with what’s going on in your hood, and with your neighbors.  

In our opinion, the best thing to do during a winter storm is ensure your snack game is strong, and have some solid books and board games to get you through however long the storm lasts.

But don’t forget to stock up on some of the above items to make sure you’re not only making the best of your time in this horrific weather, but that you’re also staying safe.

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