Winter Safety Tips: Prepare Your Home and Car for Harsh Weather

How do you prepare for Ohio’s harsh winter weather?

From disaster preparedness kits and emergency plans to alternative heat sources and generators, there are several actions you can take to winterize your home and car. Proactive planning helps prepare you for common winter woes like frozen pipes, broken furnaces or dangerous driving conditions.

And with Ohio Winter Safety Awareness Week approaching (Nov. 12 – 18), the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (OCSWA) suggests Ohioans start winter planning now.

Below, we provide winter safety tips to prepare you, your home and car before the harsh winter weather hits Ohio.

Winter Home Preparation

There are several reasons why winter prep is necessary. For instance, a frozen pipe can burst, causing significant water damage in your home. Or, an ice dam in your gutter can cause water to seep into and saturate walls, ceilings, insulation and more.

OII member organization Nationwide (@Nationwide) provides some tips to get your home winter-ready:

  • Clean out the gutters to prevent ice buildup.
  • Turn off water valves inside and outside, especially if leaving your home overnight or longer.
  • Insulate and air seal attics, doors, garages, walls and windows.
  • Have a contractor inspect your roof for any possible damages or leaks.
  • If you have a fireplace, plug and seal the flue when not in use.
  • To prevent pipes from freezing, keep one faucet slowly dripping warm water.

For the complete list of home preparedness tips, read Nationwide’s full article, “Preparing your home and car for the blast of winter cold.”

Prepare Your Car for Dangerous Driving Conditions

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 17% of winter-related crashes occur during snow or sleet, 14% happen on snowy or slushy pavement and a final 13% take place on icy roads.

Knowing this, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) urges motorists to follow the three P’s of safe winter driving: prepare, protect and prevent.

OII member organization Frankenmuth Insurance (@frankenmuthins) suggests the following to help you prepare your car for the winter months:

  • Get your car battery tested, charged and/or replaced.
  • Have your car professionally serviced.
  • Check your fluid levels, including coolant, oil and wiper fluid.
  • Check your car for broken hoses, belts and spark plugs.
  • Check your tire pressure for proper inflation.
  • Maintain a full tank of gas to prevent condensation.

For the complete list of car preparedness tips, read Frankenmuth’s full article, “10 ways to prepare your vehicle for winter weather.”

Additionally, member organization Allstate (@Allstate) says you’ll want to prepare an emergency kit for your car that includes:

  • Windshield scraper and shovel.
  • Flashlight.
  • Battery powered radio.
  • Water.
  • Food.
  • Matches.
  • Extra clothes and blankets.

Properly preparing with the right gear can help drivers stay safe on the road during the inclement, winter weather. Find more winter driving tips from Allstate here.

Additional Resources:

See these resources for more ways our members and partners educate others on the importance of winter safety: