You don’t have to be a Game of Thrones fan to know that winter is coming. The first snows of the year have already come and gone. Even the southeastern portion of the US has seen a couple of inches of snow. It is probably going to be a cold one this year.
There are many tasks to do around the house to prepare for the onslaught. And no matter how often winter comes around, we all tend to forget one or two of these tasks as if taken by surprise every year. So think of this as a checklist for winterizing your home and the people who live in it:
Secure Your Home
You have probably been doing holiday shopping since the end of November, and possibly even sooner. You might even have a bit more to go. That means nicely packaged, expensive, and highly desirable items are just lying about for an enterprising thief to grab. Even after the holidays, those gifts are still hanging about. Winter is a prosperous time for burglars.
Now is the time to get security systems for your home or business installed. This is the sort of thing we tell ourselves we will do. But year after year, we put it off. Going without a security system is like going without health insurance. It is unwise and dangerous. So the first thing you should do this winter is add a layer of protection to home and family you call your own.
Protect Your Pipes
Of course you already know that you should wrap your pipes to keep them from freezing. But there are other ways to prevent your pipes from freezing this winter. Some of them might elevate your utility bills a little. But that is far better than the $5,000 to $7,000 it will cost you to repair burst pipes.
Leave the faucets dripping just a little. It is harder for water to freeze when it is moving. Keep your heat on even when you are not there. Your pipes still need to stay warm even when you are out and about. You can probably think of other common sense methods for protecting your pipes. It is just a matter of doing them before the big freeze hits.
Get Cold Medicine and Flu Shots
If you haven’t already done it, get flu shots for everyone. And don’t wait till someone has a cold before heading to the drug store to pick up some cold medicine. Stock up on cough drops and nasal spray, or whatever your anti-cold routine happens to be. You want to hit the symptoms with treatment at the first sign, not after they have already taken hold.
Coats, Gloves, and Boots
How many seasons have those winter coats lasted? Now that you and the kids have iPhones and tablets to carry around, along with chargers, cables, and the like, you might want a winter coat with more pockets.
Don’t forget that these devices we can’t live without having capacitive touch screens, which cannot be operated with ordinary gloves. The good news is that you can get capacitive gloves just about everywhere. They allow you to operate a smartphone without taking off your gloves in the cold.
If you have a fancy new iPhone X with Face ID, you will want to test the sunglasses you use this winter to make sure the TrueDepth camera can see through them. You don’t want to have to take off sunglasses and gloves in freezing temperatures just to use your smartphone.
Stock up on Games
The kids are going to be inside where it is warm much more during the winter than the summer. So stock up on things for them to do. If they have a PS4 or Xbox One, pick up the latest games and keep cabin fever at bay.
Winterizing is about more than just the house in which you live. It is also about the people that call it home. So when you have made it secure and protected the pipes, be sure to defend against the flu. Make sure winter wear is comparable with your favorite tech. And make sure everyone has plenty to do indoors.