How to Prep Your Home for an Alaskan Winter
There’s winter. And then there’s Alaska winter. As daylight fades and the long, cold months approach, locals know it’s time to prep your home, garden and car and get your personal gear ready to help you survive and thrive until the spring thaw. If you’re new to the area, here are a few ideas to help you prep your home and get started on winterizing your home for an Alaskan winter.
- Check emergency supplies: Winter storms can result in being snowed in for days or even a week at a time. A family emergency kit can be a lifesaver. Whether you’re starting from scratch or adding to the one you’ve already prepared, there are a lot of great kits and lists for assembling the right items. Remember to include medicines, baby supplies like formula and diapers, pet food, and extra winter clothing in addition to food, batteries, flashlights, lanterns, radios, infant formula, water, blankets, and first aid supplies. Check the Red Cross website for printable checklists you can use when assembling your kit.
- Purchase a “happy light:” The winter blues can hit pretty hard and locals know that one of the best ways to keep away the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder is to use sun lamps in the home. These types of lights stimulate sunlight. Exposure to them at least twice a day for 20 minutes is a great way to fight off winter depression.
- Check smoke detectors: Make sure all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home have fresh batteries and are working properly.
- Clean fireplaces and wood-burning stoves: Home fires occur every winter in fireplaces that haven’t been used in months. Clean and prepare your fireplaces now, before you need to use them, or have a professional do it for you.
- Have your furnace inspected and serviced: Don’t wait until temps drop below zero or your furnace suddenly stops working. Schedule a professional inspection and servicing for your home’s furnace system before winter hits. They won’t be as busy and you might even get a special early bird deal.
- Service the exterior of your home: Now that you’ve got the inside of your home prepped, head outside and get all the leaves and debris out of your gutter. Disconnect all hoses, drain them of all water, and store for the winter. Store or stack furniture from your decks, it’ll make it easier to remove snow later on. And while you’re at it, pull your snow shovels and any other tools you’ll need out of storage so you won’t have to dig them out later.