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Four Tips to Prepare for the Next Ice Storm

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Salt your walks and driveway ahead of time


Pick up a bag or container of ice melt or deicing salt at a home center or hardware store and sprinkle it on your sidewalks, steps and driveway. If you have a dog or are putting salt on a public sidewalk, look for pet-friendly ice melt. Also keep a bag of sand on hand in case you need extra traction on the driveway after the storm.


Salt your steps before the ice storm hits
Before the ice storm hits, sprinkle deicing salt or ice melt on your steps, sidewalk and driveway.

Need electricity for your well pump? Fill water containers and the bathtub


The biggest problem with ice storms is that they cause trees to fall on the power lines. If you don't have a backup generator and you rely on well water, make sure to stock up on water for cooking and drinking. And don't forget—you'll need water to flush the toilets. This is where a full bathtub comes in handy.


Prepare your car for the ice


If your family is like ours, there's never room in the garage for both cars. If you have to leave your car out, here are a few tips. Lube your car to prevent your locks from freezing and your doors from freezing shut. Spray dry-lube Teflon into the locks and on the door weather stripping. Also pick up a bottle of Prestone Windshield De-Icer for after the storm. It'll make short work of clearing thick ice from your car windows.


Don't get stuck in the garage


If your garage isn't heated, the sweep at the bottom of the door can freeze to the concrete slab and you won't be able to open the overhead door. Help prevent this by sprinkling deicer across the garage door opening before the storm.  


— Jeff Gorton, Associate Editor


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  • Comments
    • by posted on

      Great ideas, thanks!

    • by posted on

      I live in Ohio, never think to put ice melt on the sidewalk before the snow, but suspect the wind would blow it away before the snow begins to fall.  Will try it.   Also, before the last freeze here we sprayed the car doors with cooking spray.  The freeze before that I was frozen out of my car.  We had no idea what to buy, so used what we had with crossed fingers.  I put windshield deicer in an old cleaned out dish soap bottle and keep it handy for squirting on my windows.

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