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How to Prepare for Snow

Updated on February 28, 2013
Making a few preparations before the snow flies makes it much easier to weather the storm.
Making a few preparations before the snow flies makes it much easier to weather the storm. | Source

Enjoy the Snow!

By taking a few simple preparations before it snows, we can enjoy the snow rather than worrying about getting the car out of the driveway or dealing with the snow on the roof.


1. Find Winter Hats & Gloves

Its easy to forget just how cold winter can be! Before the first snow, find your winter hats and gloves from wherever you tossed them last spring. Throw them in the washer.

2. Dig Out Your Snow Shovels

Dig out your snow shovels from the back of the garage or shed. Pound out any dents you made chipping ice last winter. Apply a lubricant to keep the snow from sticking. Cooking spray, petroleum jelly, paraffin or WD-40 will all help save your back.

3. Tune Up Your Snowblower

Tune up your snowblower to make sure it's ready. Does it need an oil change or new spark plug? Do you have gas? Will it start? Are its nuts and bolts tight? Clear away any obstacles from the driveway that could be ingested by the snowblower.

4. Plant Your Driveway Snow Stakes

It's much easier to plant your driveway snow stakes before the ground freezes. Four foot tall reflective stakes will help you keep the car in the driveway on dark winter nights and keep the snowplows from tearing up your prized lawn.

5. Find Your Car's Ice Scrapers

Put an ice scraper in your car. If you park outside, keep another scraper inside your house so you can start scraping the car before you get inside. Consider using a combination ice scraper and snow brush.

6. Buy a Lock De-Icer

Buy a lock de-icer to thaw and release frozen automobile door or trunk locks. The de-icer will also work on any iced-up household locks.

7. Stock Up on Sand or Rock Salt

Stock up on sand, rock salt or other material you use to melt ice. Buy these materials before the first storm when the store has plenty of inventory.

8. Tune Radio to School Closing Channel

Tune your clock radio to the channel which broadcasts local school closings, or book-mark the website listing school cancellations. There's no point waking the kids up early on those magical days! Also, how will you know if your office is closed?

9. Prepare Your House for Snow

Prepare your house for snow and cold. Turn off outside water faucets (or let them drip slowly). Drain and store water hoses. Flush and empty irrigation systems. Insulate any water pipes exposed to freezing weather. Caulk around outside windows and doors. Install storm windows and doors. Clean gutters. Install and turn on snow melting cables on the roof to prevent ice dams. Add antifreeze to any portable basketball base filled with water. Patch cracks in driveways, walkways or siding.

10. Install Holiday Lights

Install Holiday lights before the first big snowfall. This will avoid the need to climb up high ladders after it gets cold, windy, icy and slippery. Wait with turning on the power until closer to the Holidays if you don't want to appear too anxious.

11. Stock Up on Good Food & Drink

Stock up on hot cocoa, coffee, wine or anything that makes you feel warm & cozy.

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    • yellabelly profile image

      yellabelly 4 years ago

      Buy a snow melting system! -http://www.heatizon.com

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I grew up in the midwest and now the preparation one must make for snow. One of the best items I found was a lock de-icer. This was a lifesaver for me many times. Your advice to hang the lights before the first big snow is so right on -- don't wait until you have to trudge knee deep in the freezing cold!

    • ChrisMcDade8 profile image

      Christine McDade 5 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Some good tips to remember. Thanks to your advice, many folks will be more prepared for the winter snowstorms. Very useful!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      I have so much to do! We just had our first 2 inches of snow and I am not prepared yet. Thanks for the handy list. Great job.

    • GiblinGirl profile image

      GiblinGirl 5 years ago from New Jersey

      Nice tips. We just had our first snowfall here in NJ thanks to storm Athena so these suggestions are very time sensitive. Oddly enough, even though I live in an area that sees plenty of snow, I've never actually heard of driveway snow stakes - they seem like a good idea though.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good tips! Here in Washington you would be hard-pressed to find someone with a snow blower; we just don't get that much snow. I hope you have a manageable winter wherever you are.