Staying warm and safe during the winter can be a challenge if you don’t know what to watch for and how to prepare. DTE Energy suggests these tips to help you prepare for winter weather:
- Listen to weather forecasts, especially for winter storm warnings. The National Weather Service will warn of the potential for severe winter weather, so you have time to get ready.
- Make sure you have supplies on hand. You should have food, medicine and other supplies you may need for several days on hand in case heavy snow or ice makes travel difficult. If you will be on the roads during winter weather, take the time to pack blankets, a shovel, sand or kitty litter and an ice scraper and broom for clearing ice and snow from your vehicle as part of your vehicle safety kit.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full. Keeping your tank full reduces the chance for ice to form in gas lines and ensures you’re prepared to leave if there’s an emergency. You should also make sure your car’s fluid levels are checked and within manufacturer guidelines before winter weather hits, and have a mechanic or auto parts store test your battery.
- If you have pets, make sure they’re warm too. Pets should be kept indoors to avoid exposure to winter temperatures, snow and ice. If your pet does need to go outside, make sure to have a towel ready to clear any ice or snow from paws.
- Winterize your home. That means wrapping pipes to avoid freezing, installing caulk or weather stripping to seal air leaks, changing furnace filters and more to keep your home warm while saving money and energy.
- Keep ice and snow clear from sidewalks, driveways and utility meters. Snow and ice buildup on sidewalks and driveways can cause slips, trips and falls as well as making it harder for you to get in and out of your home. Removing ice and snow buildup on your natural gas or electric meter can also minimize the potential for estimated bills during the winter.
- Check on your elderly neighbors. Plan to reach out and check up on older neighbors and family to confirm that they are doing well before and immediately following blizzards, ice storms and power outages.
Following these tips can keep you, your family, friends and neighbors safe and prepared this winter season.