Here Are Some Helpful Winter Insurance Tips You Will Want To Know!
Being prepared for winter is one of those things that everyone should have on their mind right now. Especially if you live anywhere close to the midwest/east coast. This year we have seen record-breaking lows that have already taken the life of a handful of people. Don’t let this happen to you by being prepared for anything that might happen this winter.
Protecting your home is a no brainer and a must. Did you know that a frozen pipe can burst and cause flood damage to your house? Built up ice in your gutters can cause water to back up and fin its way down inside your interior walls. And then there’s your car. Being prepared for anything that winter might throw at you is super important. What would you doif you were driving and got stuck in a blizzard? Get prepared with these easy tips that could save your life!
Here are some simple yet important things you can do to protect yourself this winter:
- Stay indoors during the storm.
- Walk carefully on snowy, icy walkways.
- Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. It’s a serious workout, and going at it too hard can bring on a heart attack − a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.
- Stay dry. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits the cold rapidly.
- Watch for signs of frostbite: loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities. If any of these occur, get medical help immediately.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.
- If any of the hypothermia symptoms appear, get yourself (or the victim) to a warm location, remove wet clothing, and warm the center of the body first. Give the patient warm, non-alcoholic beverages if they are conscious. And of course, get medical help as soon as possible.
Prepare your home
Make sure you are ready for the next winter storm:
- Clean out the gutters, disconnect and drain all outside hoses. If possible, shut off outside water valves.
- Insulate walls and attics, and caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
- Repair roof leaks and remove tree branches that could get weighed down with ice or snow and fall on your house – or your neighbor’s. (Avoid liability for the latter.)
- Wrap water pipes in your basement or crawl spaces with insulation sleeves to slow heat transfer.
- Consider an insulated blanket for your hot water heater.
- If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed when you’re not using it.
- Have a contractor check your roof to see if it would sustain the weight of heavy snowfall.
- Make sure your furniture isn’t blocking your home’s heating vents.
- During cold spells, keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes, particularly those in the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets connected to pipes that run through unheated or unprotected spaces.
- If your house will be unattended during cold periods, consider draining the water system.
- Avoid ice dams – where water from melted snow refreezes in the gutters and seeps in under the roof, soaking interior walls. Here’s how:
- Ventilate your attic.
- Insulate the attic floor well to minimize the amount of heat rising through the attic from within the house.
- Consider having a water-repellent membrane installed under your roof covering.
Prepare your car
According to the DMV; 22% of all vehicle crashes in the U.S. – and 16% of the fatalities – are caused by severe weather such as rain, snow, sleet, and ice. So be prepared for winter in your car is no small thing to overlook. By following these simple tips you will be ready for anything that comes at you:
- Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive, travel during the day.
- Don’t travel alone. Keep others informed of your schedule.
- Stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
- Top off antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, gas, oil, and other fluids.
- Make sure your tires have enough tread. Consider snow tires.
- Keep bagged salt or sand in the trunk for extra traction and to melt ice.
- Clear snow from the top of the car, headlights, and windows.
- Save the numbers for your auto club, insurance agent and towing service into your cell phone.
- Keep a cold-weather kit in your trunk. It should include a blanket or sleeping bag, gloves, hard candy, bottled water, folding shovel, first aid kit, flashlight, and cell phone charger.
If you’re trapped in a vehicle
In the case that you do end up getting trapped in your vehicle, there are a few things you can do to stay alive and get help.
- Remain inside. Rescuers are more likely to find you there.
- Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes every hour. Clear any snow from the exhaust pipe to reduce your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Move around to maintain heat.
- Use maps, floor mats and seat covers for insulation.
- Take turns sleeping. Someone should always be awake to alert rescuers.
- Drink fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Turn on the inside light at night so rescue crews can find you.
- If you’re stranded in a remote area, stomp out the words “SOS” or “HELP” in the snow.
Ultimately you want to make sure that you are ready for anything in life. Insurance is a good way to stay protected when things happen and here at Insura we are here to help you through any wintertime mishaps. Talk to an agent today to get a worry-free quote or fill out the form below.
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