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Before the storm: Quick tips to protect your car and home

HAMPTON ROADS – If you’re new to snow storms, there are a few preventative steps you can take to protect your home and car from the elements. Oftentimes, these steps could save you headaches, hours of wasted time and hundreds of dollars.

The night before:

  • ROCK SALT: Lay down rock salt or pool salt on your driveway and sidewalks. This preventative steps allows you to quickly shovel snow and ice out of the way after the storm. Many localities will fine residents if they do not clear their sidewalks in a certain amount of time after the storm.
  • PROTECT YOUR PIPES (INDOORS): Expecting freezing temperatures? Let your faucets drip, and open up the cabinets underneath your sinks to allow heat to get to the pipes.
  • PROTECT YOUR PIPES (OUTDOORS): Unhook all outdoor hoses and let them drain out. Cover up outdoor spigots with outdoor foam faucet covers. You can buy these for a few dollars at most hardware stores. Protect the pipes underneath your home by covering any outdoor vents with foam. Cold temps can cause pipes to burst. Click here for more information on how to properly protect your pipes. 
  • PUT AIR IN YOUR TIRES: If need, fill up your tires with air. Larry Topping of Larry’s Automotive in Newport News recommends using the tire pressure recommended inside the door jamb of your vehicle, rather than the tire pressure listed on the outside of the tire.
  • WINDSHIELD WIPERS: Lift your windshield wipers off the windshield so they are pointing straight up to the sky. This will help keep them from icing over.
  • KEEP HEAT INSIDE: Insulate your windows with foam to prevent heat from escaping or cold air from getting in. Keep some spare blankets on hand also in case the power goes out.
  • CHARGE YOUR PHONE: This is especially handy if the power goes out.

A few days before: protecting your home

  • SNOW SUPPLIES: Purchase any snow survival supplies needed for your home (i.e. a shovel, rock salt). Oftentimes, these supplies will sell out a few days in advance of a big snow storm. Don’t get caught literally empty handed.
  • FOOD AND WATER: The same mentally should be applied to buying water and non-perishable items. Buy these a few days in advance and avoid grocery store lines.

A few days before: protecting your car