First Big Snow of the Season
This weekend the people of Placerville and surrounding areas are expecting a lot of snow. The weather channel has issues a winter storm warning and foresees snow accumulation down to 1000 ft. The last two years have been pretty wimpy as far as snow fall is concerned, so expect some weak and dead tree branches to fall and be prepared to lose power.
If you don’t live in El Dorado county and want to experience a beautiful snowy winter now and then you can find some new Placerville home listings here. If you already live around here and would be happier moving away from the snow and want to sell your home then please call me, John Conca, at 530-306-3494 and we’ll discuss your options.
Last Minute Preparations
While preparing for this storm earlier in the week would have been ideal, if you’re reading this now you are probably looking for advice on what you can do now, during the daylight hours before the storm hits. Let’s look at the most effective and efficient ways to ensure a safe and warm snowy weekend.
For Your Car
Please take this seriously; stay off the roads if you have a choice. This snow storm will make driving conditions treacherous. Get home before the storm hits and prepare to stay there until the roads are clear. That said, many people still need to drive sometime during the storm and regardless of your plans, you should always keep a winter safety bag in your vehicle just in case you get stuck.
Your winter safety bag should contain:
- Chains for the tires.
- Work gloves or thinner snow gloves to use when putting on chains.
- Flares or glow sticks to warn other drivers if your car gets stuck.
- A big bag of cat sand in trunk.
- A small shovel.
- Warm layers for everyone who rides in the car.
- Snow-proof boots for each person in the car.
- One or two warm blankets.
- Bottles of water for a couple of days.
- Non-perishable food like nuts, beef jerky, dried fruit and energy bars for a couple of days.
- Flashlights with batteries.
- Cell phone car charger.
At the very least keep a blanket, chains, a flashlight and some water in the backseat where it shouldn’t freeze. If you do get stuck it’s recommended that you turn on the car and run the heater to warm up the car each hour and then turn it back off. You can use the cat sand under the tires to help them get a grip if they’re spinning.
Child Car Seat Safety
Children are the most precious cargo. We secure them into car seats in case of an accident to help save their lives and protect them from injury. Most people don’t know that you can easily defeat the purpose of the child’s car seat if you fail to read and comply to the car seat’s owners manual.
Life Saving Child Car Seat Tips To Live By:
- Buckle your kids into their car seat with clips in the correct places. The chest clip should be high up on the chest, at or just below the armpit level, never down on the stomach.
- Keep the straps tight and flat, never let them stay twisted. Once buckled, you should not be able to pinch the straps between your fingers. Consumer Reports illustrates what I mean.
- Dress the kids in thin fleece so you don’t have to loosen their straps and use their snow coats as a blanket after they’re buckled in. Even if the straps feel snug once buckled in, the coats can compress and the child can slip out of the car seat straps resulting in an all-too common worst-case scenario.
- Read your car seat owners manual. You may need to consult your cars owner’s manual as well. If you have lost those items, the manufacturer usually keeps them available online for free download.
For Your Home
Taking time in Autumn to winterize your home is smart. If you put it off there are still some things you can do in the hours before the storm to insure your home’s safety and comfort.
Make Sure You Have On Hand:
- A snow shovel. I recommend the metal ones. The plastic ones break easily.
- Flashlights with extra batteries, candles and matches for light when the power goes out.
- A heat source. I prefer a wood stove as they are versatile and work well without power. Bring in some dry firewood and cover with a tarp any wood that’s outside if you plan to use in the near future. If you use another heat source make sure you have adequate fuel to keep it running.
- Pipe insulation. If your pipes are not insulated already, get some pipe insulation and wrap them quickly while you still have light.
- Ice melt/rock salt/cat sand. Great to keep in your trunk, but also nice for walkways at home.
- A generator, of course, is a plus. Make sure you have fuel.
- Battery operated radio.
The great thing about losing power in the colder months is that you don’t have to worry about the food in your fridge. If your refrigerator starts to lose it’s cool, just put the food you’re worried about out on the deck in the cold. If you’re worried about animals getting to it then put it in an ice-chest and keep it closed with a bungee cord. You might also have luck putting it into your garage if it stays pretty cold.
- Keep a gallon of water per person, per day on hand in case water pumps fail.
- Make sure you have food that is easy to prepare and doesn’t need to be prepared. Sandwiches and canned food (find your can opener) work well. If the power goes out and you have a wood stove you can pour a can of beans into a pot and stick it on the stove for some warm food. Same goes for hot cocoa and coffee.
- Hot cocoa. If you have kids, this alone will alleviate any anxiety about losing power, but if you really want to make it an occasion I recommend you throw in some roasted marshmallows (collect sticks, fast! then roast in the fireplace), Hershey’s bars and graham crackers for s’mores as well.
- Fresh and dried fruit.
- Prepackaged food.
- Instant coffee.
- If you haven’t cleared your gutters and can swing it now, do it. The water and leaves or pine needles that fill up your gutters will freeze and then push up under the shingles causing leakage into the house.
- Wrap exposed pipes with pipe insulation so they don’t freeze and burst.
- Leave a sink dripping through the freezing temperatures.
- Set candles in safe places around your house. Be sure they are in sturdy candle holders that will not tip over and they are in a clear spot away from paper, fabric or anything flammable.
- Check your smoke alarms.
- Get your flashlights out and test them.
Something to Consider
If you are remodeling your home soon consider upgrading to gas appliances which will work when you lose power. Reliable heat and food is important when the power is out, so it’s worth considering.
I hope you all get home safely and stay warm through the storm. Enjoy the snow, it should be beautiful.
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