When you picture summer activities, they're usually beach trips, barbecues, and long, lazy afternoons just sipping a cold drink. And why not? Summer's supposed to be a season of sun and fun. There's nothing wrong with spending your summer relaxing and enjoying yourself.
But if ever you have a few days between vacations and parties, you might want to consider using the sunny days to prepare your home and yourself for winter. The snow and sleet of winter might seem like an eternity away when you're rubbing on sunscreen, but as the fable of the ant and the grasshopper tells us, it's better to prepare for the harsh months in advance.
You get yourself ready for the chilly months by doing the following. If you do, you might just avoid a major inconvenience when the snow starts piling up.
Prepare to Keep Your Home Warm
You should go around your home and begin preparing it for winter. Check your roof and see if there are any problems with the material. Heavy snowfall can cause your roof to collapse if it's not strong enough. Perform any necessary maintenance on your roof, such as putting new shingles. Caulk your windows and vents to prevent heat loss. Any loose window pane can let in a draft and hike up your heating bill. You can also check your house's insulation and see if it needs replacing or even a complete upgrade.
Your next priority should be your home's heating system. Go to your basement and see if your furnace needs any repairs of tune-ups. It's better for your furnace to break down for a few days during the summer than during the freezing cold, so it's an optimal time to have it fixed or maintained.
Prepare Your Car for Icy Conditions
Although there's no need to fill up your gas tank with winter fuel just yet, the summer is an excellent time to start buying parts and accessories that might save you money, or your life. You should also already begin inspecting your car's parts for any damage that might worsen from winter weather.
Visibility while driving is one of the major concerns during the winter. Your wipers, windshield, and lights should be your priority. Purchase wipers that can last long in the cold, and keep your field of vision clear of snow. Make sure your tail lights and headlights are strong and working properly, though these are important all year, they are essential when driving in a snow storm.
Buy snow tires and snow chains well ahead of the winter rush. Your ability to maneuver your vehicle can be a matter of life and death on a snow-covered road. Take no risks, and begin anticipating for the traveling conditions a harsh winter can impose.
Stock Up on Important Non-Perishables
Inspect your winter and emergency supplies, and see if you're missing any of these important items. You should have a first-aid kit stocked with basic medications, bandages, and other medical supplies, like gauze and disinfectants. Start stockpiling matches and batteries so you can keep warm and power radios or flashlights, even if a blizzard knocks out the electricity. Simple items, like a strong shovel and a non-electric can opener, can save you a lot of grief in the winter.
You can ensure that you don't get any winter woes and still have a great season of sunshine. After all, checking your house and car, and buying necessary items will probably not take up your whole summer. So set aside the pool floaters and the iced tea, but only for a little while. You've got some work to do.