As the coldest months of the year approach, it’s important that you’re fully prepared, whether you’re out and about or at home.
Every year, sickness and mortality rates rise during winter, with cold weather playing a major role in many cases. This year, the Office for National Statistics reported that excess deaths in winter were at their highest rate in over 40 years, largely as a result of extreme cold.
The easiest, most effective way to keep yourself and your family safe, secure and healthy as winter approaches is to be prepared. Below, we’ve listed six ways for you to make sure you’re prepared for winter ahead of time this year.
Clean gutters and disconnect outside hoses
It’s far from uncommon for the contents of your gutters to freeze during winter, causing drainage issues that can damage your home’s building materials. It’s also common for water stored inside garden hoses to freeze over, potentially causing the hoses to burst.
Make sure you’re prepared for winter by cleaning out your home’s gutters, draining your hoses and checking that any outdoor items with the potential to freeze over are disconnected from the water supply.
Make sure your home is properly insulated
If you have any concerns about your home’s insulation, now’s the time to address them. Proper insulation is essential for a comfortable winter, not only for your walls and attics, but also for any internal pipes in basements, crawlspaces and other cold areas.
Get your boiler serviced and, if necessary, repaired
Has your boiler been properly serviced? If it’s been almost a year since you last had your boiler serviced, now is a great time to schedule a complete servicing.
Boilers often break during the Christmas holiday period, with dropping temperatures putting an extra strain on their components. Companies like Go Assist, which offers Baxi repairs and other boiler repair services, are worth keeping on hand in the event that your boiler fails.
Prepare your car for winter weather
As temperatures decrease, it’s important to make sure that your vehicle is prepared for the extra strain that might be placed on its engine and other components.
If you live in an area that gets very cold over the New Year period, make sure to top off you car’s petrol, oil and antifreeze. Now is also a good time to check that you have enough wiper fluid, as you’ll need functional windscreen wipers in the event of frosty or snowy weather.
Put together an emergency food kit for home
Although you probably won’t need it, now is a good time to prepare an emergency food kit with enough food to last for several days. While CostCo’s £4,330 “apocalypse survival food kit” is a little bit over the top, keeping some extra food around the house can make cold days easier.
Check that you have blankets and cold weather clothing
Now is also a great time to make sure you have blankets, hot water bottles, duvets and other winter essentials. While these items are easy to find any time of year, it’s always best to have them available at home in the event the temperature suddenly dips lower than expected.
If you plan on going out often, check that you have at least one change of winter clothes (such as a warm overcoat or jacket). This way, you’ll always be prepared if your first set of outerwear is wet or dirty.