Forget Westeros, winter is coming soon to the Fraser Valley.
In fact, the fluffy white stuff is already on the longterm forecast for the end of November. Are you ready?
If you want to get a head start on snow, sleet and poor driving conditions BEFORE the mercury takes another dip, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are just 7 ways us Valley moms can prepare for winter.
At Home Sweet Home
I don’t know about you, but I tend to run to our thermostat and crank the heat to 30 the second I feel a chill in the air. While it’s nice to be warm and toasty, the toll it takes on our hydro bill is not exactly comforting.
I’m also terrible at remembering to dial it down before heading out. One approach to save your hard-earned bucks is to acclimatize your body by lowering it by one degree each week for a month.
Another handy tip that my mom taught me is to keep your blinds and curtains open in the morning to take advantage of the natural light and heat. In the afternoon, keep them closed, which will act as a barrior to keep the heat where it belongs – indoors.
2. Protect Your Family from CO Poisoning
Everyone is at risk for CO (Carbon Monoxide) poisoning. Infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are more likely to get sick from CO. According to the Centre for Diseases Control and Protection, more than 400 die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.
To prevent CO poising in your home, install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Tip: a detector with a digital readout can tell you the highest level of CO concentration in your home in addition to alarming. Replace your CO detector every five years.
And with more of us cozying up by a fire to keep Jack Frost from nipping at our toes, it’s vital that you have your chimney checked or cleaned annually. Fact: Chimneys can be blocked by debris. This can cause CO to build up inside your home.
3.Inspect Windows/Doors for Leaks
With temperatures below zero you definitely want to keep the heat in, and the best way to do that is by ensuring your windows and doors are properly sealed. Also, check for drafts and caulk both inside and out where necessary.
On the Road
4.Winterize Your Family Vehicle
Let’s face it – winter driving conditions can be both frustrating and challenging.
Even with milder temperatures here in British Columbia, and fewer snow days that other provinces, it’s hard to predict icy, slippery conditions.
The right tire combined with weather-appropriate driving behaviour significantly increases driving safety. One of the most effective ways to winterize your family vehicle is to purchase a new set of winter tires.
It’s a well-known fact that winter tires perform better in colder temperatures. As temperatures drop below 7ºC, the winter tire develops more grip, while the all-season tire loses grip and the summer tire is rendered useless.
Winter Tires are designed with slush and snow-pumping tread pattern to deflect the snow away from the tire contact path. This also works with rain-soaked roads.
Fact: Winter Tires are required here in British Columbia on many rural mountain passes in the Interior, Northern B.C. and in areas of Vancouver Island between Oct. 1 and March 31. For a list of highways winter tires are required on, visit www.gov.bc.ca/wintertires.
5. Scrub a Dub Dub
Tis’ the season for flus and colds, which are pretty much impossible to avoid when you’re a parent. Am I right? It’s not exactly breaking news, but a great reminder none-the-less, that hand washing is paramount to keeping germs at bay.
My girls tend to have a tough time remembering to cover their cough with their sleeve or their elbow, so I’m constantly making sure they make a stop at the sink to scrub down – especially before meals. Hand washing with warm water and soap for should take at least 20 seconds (that’s how long it takes to sing “Twinkle Twinkle.”
6. Beat the Winter Blues
While our winters tend to be on the milder side – especially compared to our Northern neighbours, us Valleyites still face months of dark grey skies and dreary rainfall.
Like many Canadians, I fall tend to suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) as soon as November rolls around. For myself, that means feeling sad, moody, anxious, lethargic and constantly craving carbs and ‘comfort foods.’
In recent years, I decided to be proactive and beat the winter blues by following a few small lifestyle changes, which have really helped me cope with the symptoms. This includes taking my daily dose of Vitamin A, heading for a walk during daylight hours to soak up a few rays, maximizing the natural light in our town home as much as possible, getting plenty of zzz’s, meditation and exercise to boost those endorphins.
7. Not Worth the Risk
For added peace of mind, proper insurance for your home and vehicle are a must. Whether you have purchased a new car or home, or planning to head South this winter (If that’s you, I’m very jealous!), insurance provides financial security and peace of mind for anything life throws your way. With insurance coverage best-suited for your needs, you can rest assure that no matter what the incident or sudden loss, you and your family will be able to recover quickly.
Without insurance, you could lose thousands – or even hundreds of thousands of dollars – paying out of pocket. Skipping on proper insurance coverage is never worth it. Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, so finding the right insurance is important to help you recover from an unexpected occurrence.
As a busy mom, I am a big fan of Sussex Insurance because of the convenience factor. They’re open from 9am to 9pm and have several locations here in the Fraser Valley and throughout BC. If you’re looking for a location near you just visit: www.sussexinsurance.com
With these 7 tips in mind, you’ll keep your family safe and healthy, while maintaining your own personal sanity this winter.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post