Don't Get Caught In A Winter Storm Without These Must-Have Household Essentials

Impending bad weather will get your mind thinking about must-have items that will not only keep you safe, but comfortable. If you've prepared your pantry and your first aid kits, it's time to direct your attention to your actual home. Severe weather of all kinds can impact your house in a myriad of ways, but a winter storm can truly wreak the most havoc. These storms are not limited to cold temperatures, but high winds, heavy snowfalls, ice, and the related issues that come with these conditions.

According to research conducted by Value Penguin, in the year 2022 alone, weather caused about $64 million in property damage. Winter storms can damage your roof because the snow becomes too heavy. Floors, doors, and window frames can be warped by water when the wood swells and dries out repeatedly. Pipes can freeze and burst, and more issues can occur. Avoid discomfort, damage, and other mishaps around your home, with these must-have household essentials to have on hand before a big storm hits. You'll have peace of mind and your house will thank you for being ready for anything.

A generator can help prevent plumbing damage

A generator can be a big investment, but if you find one that suits your needs, it will pay for itself by preventing damage to your home. A backup generator can keep your heat running warm, which will not only keep you toasty but also prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting. The right products can keep your home dry and warm during the darkest, coldest storms, and keep your fridge and freezer running to prevent spoiled food. Many options are available, but a few things are important to remember. Consider products, such as The Westinghouse WGen9500DFc Dual Fuel Portable Generator with CO Sensor, which has over 20,000 reviews and can run for about 12 hours on gasoline or propane. With this product, you can also forget the hassle of a pull start and turn this machine on with the click of a remote.

As temperatures plummet and snow envelops the world outside, the internal workings of a house are at risk of succumbing to the elements and you might be tempted to rush and purchase the first generator you can get your hands on. However, it's important to make sure that you have a safe place to run your generator, where the fumes and exhaust won't pose a risk. Also, assess your needs first. A small product will likely overheat, burn out, or fail to power a large home with multiple outlets if it's not strong enough.

A carbon monoxide detector is vital when using generators and other heat sources

While furnaces and other heat sources are crucial when combating cold weather, there is a very real danger that often goes unnoticed: carbon monoxide. It's imperative that you invest in a reliable detector because this threat can be deadly, but it's also invisible and odorless, making it nearly impossible to notice on your own. When shopping for a detector, consider a battery-powered one. A plug-in option is great for saving batteries, but a loss of power could affect the function. Instead, opt for the First Alert CO400 Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector, Battery Operated Alarm, which has over 18,000 reviews on Amazon.

Exposure to this toxic gas can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea, according to the Mayo Clinic, but could also eventually lead to brain damage, or even death. Be sure to choose a detector that will warn you when the batteries are low and one. To truly be effective, every floor of your home should include a detector and they are best located near bedroom doors. Don't ignore an alarm if it goes off; get to an area where there's proper ventilation and fresh air. Follow up by calling the fire department so they can detect the source of the gas.

Kitty litter can make icy sidewalks and steps less dangerous

When the winter storms unleash their fury, leaving behind a blanket of snow and treacherous icy surfaces, one must-have item stands out among the rest and that's kitty litter. As an essential household staple, its versatility and usefulness go far beyond its original purpose. Not only will this product absorb moisture around your doorways, but it will also create traction on icy surfaces and make navigating those winter storms that much easier. Sprinkle a layer around your sidewalks, patios, and porches to let it work its magic. Check out Sustainably Yours Multi-Cat Large Grains Natural Cat Litter and keep it on hand for an effective and natural option.

Kitty litter is a much better alternative to salt, which can corrode concrete and damage nearby plants. Not only will the salt begin to break down your sidewalks and patios, but tracking it into your house can also create a mess. There's nothing more annoying than the need for constant mopping and vacuuming. Salty footprints can be a hassle to clear away, as the build-up hardens and dries. The salt can be abrasive on your floors, creating scratches and scuffs that can't be wiped away, whereas the kitty litter is softer and less damaging.

A surge protector will keep your electronics safe from power fluctuations

Winter storms can wreak havoc on our electrical systems, and without proper protection, our cherished devices are left vulnerable to irreparable damage. During times when the electrical grid is unstable, a surge protector becomes an indispensable household essential. This unassuming device stands as a barricade against the ferocity of power surges caused by severe weather conditions. Check out the Tower Surge Protector Power Strip on Amazon, which has over 14,000 reviews. This product provides plenty of outlets to protect your more expensive electronics, such as your TVs, phones, tablets, and computers. Other more expensive options include whole-house surge protectors, which are better suited for areas that frequently lose power or experience electrical surges. Built-in protectors are also available, which can be installed with new power outlets. These are a seamless way to protect your home and electronics and they are hardly noticeable.

During severe storms, power surges can inundate our homes with destructive energy. Damaged power lines, and sudden drops and flickers in the electricity can quickly cause damage to your charging devices. The right protector can intercept and divert excessive electrical currents away from our cherished gadgets. 

Insulation will help prevent your pipes from freezing

In the battle against freezing temperatures, insulation is your greatest ally. Its purpose is simple yet profound: to provide a protective barrier that shields your pipes from the bitter cold. By encasing your plumbing system in a layer of protection, insulation prevents heat loss and maintains a stable temperature within the pipes. Pipe Insulation Foam Tubes are affordable and simple to use. The opening on one side allows you to easily slip the foam around the pipes and it provides an extra layer between your pipes and the cold. For a more secure and flexible option, try 2 Inch Pipe Insulation Tape, which can easily be wrapped around the many bends and turns of your plumbing.

Without proper insulation on your pipes, the consequences can be dire. The freezing temperatures cause the water inside the pipes to expand, exerting tons of pressure within the pipes, whether they are metal or plastic. Eventually, this pressure becomes too much to bear, and the pipes give in, bursting open with a force that can flood your entire home. Be prepared with a few simple items and prevent a mess, expensive repairs, and future issues, such as mold and mildew.

Waterproof mats protect your floors from water damage

Winter storms can leave behind a trail of mud, snow, and ice that threatens to infiltrate every crevice of our homes, especially our entryways. That is precisely why waterproof mats have emerged as an indispensable ally during these turbulent temperatures. Check out the Fowooyeen Outdoor Door Mat, 30” x 17” Silicone Scraper Front Door Mats on Amazon with hundreds of positive reviews. This mat will trap mug and dirt and the silicone is simple to clean. Just wipe and rinse and the debris will fall away. Another option is the OLANLY Front Door Mat Indoor Outdoor Entrance, which is large enough to catch all of the mud and dirt at the entryway. Wipe your feet and allow your shoes to dry out without worrying about water damage or mold.

Furthermore, these mats provide a safe entrance into your home. As the temperature drops, door frames and entryways have the uncanny ability to transform into icy traps, waiting to claim another unsuspecting victim. However, with mats that have anti-slip surfaces, you'll have a bit of added stability and reassurance with every step taken.

A small space heater can reduce the risk of frozen pipes

During truly harsh temperature drops, your pipes are at risk of freezing above the house and below. By utilizing a battery or propane-powered heater, you not only ensure your personal warmth but can also protect your home from potential disasters. Sticking one of these under your kitchen or bathroom sink can reduce the chance of frozen pipes and you don't have to worry about leaving the tap to drip. Consider investing in a low-energy electric heater that can be plugged into your generator if the power goes out. FARA heaters by Boldr are practically good choices, as they have energy-saving features that won't drain your generator or raise your heating bill.

It's not just frozen pipes that can cause damage in your home when the temp drops. Moisture becomes a formidable foe, seeping into cracks, crevices, fabrics, and more in your home. This unwelcome intruder can spawn mold, causing health issues for you and your loved ones. Swollen boards and warped doors are further casualties of dampness, resulting in expensive repairs and headaches. With a space heater, you can keep specific areas of your home warm and dry even if the power goes out during a winter storm.

Caulk for your windows and doors to keep heat in and uninvited guests out

Among the many items that should be on your checklist, caulk for your windows and doors is undoubtedly a must-have. This simple, inexpensive product serves multiple purposes that are vital during harsh weather conditions. When snow and ice gather relentlessly, caulk becomes your first line of defense against the elements. The sticky substance acts as a barrier that prevents heat from escaping and cold air from infiltrating your home. By sealing any gaps or cracks in your windows and doors, caulk ensures that you can maintain a comfortable temperature indoors while reducing energy costs. Be sure to invest in a polyurethane caulk and grab a caulk gun to make the job simple and mess-free.

In addition, critters tend to seek refuge during storms just like we do. They take advantage of any and all gaps or cracks that they can find and take them as an invitation to enter your warm, dry home. By using caulk to seal these entry points, you create a formidable barrier that deters unwanted guests from seeking shelter in your home.

Outdoor faucet covers prevent damage to your home's pipes

As temperatures drop, hose spigots, which are frequently exposed to the elements, are particularly vulnerable to freezing. When water freezes inside the water spigot and pipes, it expands and can crack, causing a leak or just a spigot that doesn't function properly. An outdoor faucet cover acts as a protective shield against the weather. The right protector should be made of durable material, either weatherproof plastic or waterproof canvas/fabric. The cover should be snug and it should be attached securely to prevent it from flying off in high winds. The ZUZUXIA 3 PACK Outdoor Faucet Covers for Winter Freeze Protection on Amazon has received high ratings and it's listed for an affordable price for a three-pack.

Outdoor faucet covers are simple to install and remove, making them a convenient solution for winterizing your home that will hardly take any time at all. With their one-size-fits-all design, they can fit snugly over different types of spigots. These simple products can go a long way in preventing damage to your plumbing and preventing expensive repairs. The affordable price and ease of installation make these a no-brainer when weathering a winter storm.