While it’s still warm and sunny in some areas, winter is coming. During National Preparedness Month, it’s a good time to sit down with your dad and talk about winterizing and having a plan in place for winter weather. Where do you start?
Clean the Furnace/Boiler and Clean Chimneys
Now is the time to schedule a heating system inspection and cleaning. Make sure the furnace or boiler is working and that fuel tanks, if needed, are filled. If your dad has a wood stove or gas fireplace, it’s also time to have the chimney and vent pipes cleaned and inspected.
If he does use wood or wood pellets for heating, it’s time to make sure they’re delivered and ready to go. Bring in wood pellet bags and store them in his garage or basement. Wood should be stacked and covered with a tarp.
Go around doors and windows and look to see if any caulking has fallen out. If so, fill these gaps with new caulk. By doing this when the weather is warm and dry, there’s time for it to cure correctly.
This helps reduce drafts from cooling your dad’s home in the winter. It also helps keep insects like spiders and ladybugs from coming into your home.
Test Smoke, Fire, and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Go through the home and test all of your dad’s smoke/fire and carbon monoxide detectors. They need to have fresh batteries and work properly. If they don’t, replace them.
Hire a Company for Snow Removal
Don’t let your dad risk his safety shoveling off decks, sidewalks, and the driveway. Now is an excellent time to book snow removal services for the winter. Call around to get a variety of quotes.
Ask others in the neighborhood or community who they recommend. You might find a local teen looking for cash or needs community service hours to graduate high school, and that’s an excellent way to afford snow removal all winter. Ask the area high schools if they know of any students willing to help your dad.
Make Sure Your Dad Has Someone Checking On Him
Elder care services are essential during the winter. If your dad is home alone, who checks on him to ensure his home heating system is working correctly or that he has enough groceries to get through a storm?
You should also make sure someone is there to bring your dad to a shelter or friend’s home if his power goes out for an extended period during a blizzard. Elder care aides can also make sure he has warm meals, running water, and power. Call to make arrangements.