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Cottage Rentals Safety: Winter Proofing

This article does not only targeted the necessary winter proofing for travelling to and from your winter wonderland cottage rentals, but also the dwelling and the property.  It’s best to make a list of “to do’s” if you intend to keep the rentals alive and well through the winter months.  And remember, these are just helpful suggestions.  They should by no means get in the way of having fun.  The safer you and your family are, the better the overall experience.

Check the weather reports in advance of your trip.  If there is a storm expected, perhaps you wait a day and then head out once it’s passed.

Travel during the daylight hours; try not to travel at night.  If something goes wrong on the roads, you are not going to be met with the best visuals.  And who knows how far the nearest gas station or tow truck would be.

Car winter tune up and proper tires for winter travel.  This is just pure common sense.  Anyone who has travelled in Canada and the northern US states knows very well that weather is very unpredictable.  It’s best to have your car ready for action.  Ensure you have extra antifreeze, and all the fluids are filled properly, including gas.

Battery chargers for your vehicle are a good idea, especially if you are heading into sub zero temperatures and very icy conditions.  Nothing worse than being stranded with dead battery; CAA cannot help you if you are in the middle of nowhere with no cell range.

Pack light but pack right I always say.  Ensure you have water and quick snacks that are accessible while you are travelling.  Your emergency roadside kit for your car should include blankets, flashlights (at least two with good batteries), flares, proper spare tire, lighter or matches, a portable shovel, and road treds in case you get stuck in the snow.

Updated GPS and road maps are also a good option in case your route has detoured or there is a fallen tree or telephone pole blocking you.  You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Advance arrangements for snow removal at the dwelling are a good way to stay on top of some of the work of clearing a path.  It may be costly to have it done more than once or twice a month, but it is recommended.  As a cottage owner, it’s in your best interests, and the best interests of your roof, deck, and guests’ comfort to ensure there is some maintenance applied to snow removal.

Have a shovel or two accessible for when guests arrive.  It’s a good idea in the event you have some additional snow fall in between snow removals.

Salt, soil, Urea, Liquid Ice Melt are all options by the entrance ways and by the curb of the parking area at your cottage rental.  Though salt is not the most favoured option as it does hurt the grass and the trees, soil is always a really great substitute.  And with technology being at its finest, you can ask at your local hardware store or Home Depot or Rona what other new option there are.  It’s not a bad idea to have some in a small bucket in your car as well.  Some cottage owners may or may not think of it.

Inside the dwelling, any cottage owner would want to think ahead about a safety kit in the event that there is a power outage.  Candles, matches, lighter, extra water bottles, working flash light, some power bars, toilet paper, plastic bags for waste, think of what you would need for a day or possibly 2 days, and keep it in a sealed container that is accessible for your guests.

Many cottages do still have fireplaces and wood stoves, however, more and more are moving away from wood heat and moving towards electric and propane gas.  It’s always a good idea to look at back up options for winter occupancy.  There are many newer style generators that can be purchased and stored that operate on batteries or propane fuel.  They won’t power everything for you, but they can generate heat and power up the basic essentials until power is restored.

Be safe, be prepared, and above all, stay warm.
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