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Snow Preparation: When The Winter Weather Comes, What Are The Best Ways To Stay Prepared?

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The latest threat of the next significant snowfall comes as this weekend ends and the next work week begins.

So, it looks like the next two days are the days to get ready and stock up...and we're not talking milk and toilet paper.

This storm looks like it will start as snow which means you've got a chance to do what the road crews do and pre-treat.

Andy Amrhein of Evey True Value Hardware says it works for your driveway and sidewalk too.

"Pre-treating with calcium, or rock salt, or magnesium, whatever your product choice is when you do pre-treat, absolutely that first inch or two of snow it really helps to make it so it doesn't stick and freeze," Amrhein said.

So which treatment do you choose?

"The magnesium, that's what I use at home," says Amrhein, "it's the safest for everything. You need a third the amount of magnesium than if you used rock salt, and it doesn't hurt plants, it doesn't hurt pets and it doesn't hurt concrete."

But as you pre-treat be aware this storm is coming in three phases: Snow, then rain, then snow again.

The pre-treating will help with the first phase but probably wash away in the rain.

The second wave of snow could bring out the need for your shovel.

Does one of those with a curved handle make the job easier?

"If you have a bad back," Amrhein said. "It's going to help you if you're a normal person and you're back yeah maybe you're getting a little older, I don't think the back saver really helps in what you're doing."

Another thing you may want to do on Saturday: fire up your snowblower.

Amrhein says you want to make sure it will work when you need it and the gas in the motor could be an issue if you haven't used it in a while.

"Gas goes bad in 30 days you need fresh gas in your gas tank. you need fresh gas in your gas can," he explained.

WATCH: Staying Prepared For Incoming Snow Storms

Preparations for the storm also need to include your car.

Start with lifting your windshield wipers off the glass.

"If you leave your windshield wiper down and you get all that ice and you go out there with your ice scraper," Amrhein warns, "When you start scraping your windshield and you send that scraper down against the rubber on your windshield wiper what you're going to do is damage that wiper."

As for the popular practice of covering your windshield to avoid scraping in the morning. Amrhein says don't use towels or a blanket.

"Water penetrates that net blanket or towel is going to freeze to the windshield," he said. "Now if you're using something that the moisture doesn't penetrate, whether it's plastic whether it's a sheeting made for that for the windshield or even a piece of cardboard yeah that's gonna drastically help, but you just got to make sure that's not frozen onto the windshield."

Fill your windshield washer reservoir but be careful what you buy.

"You buy a summer grade blue, it's only good to 40 degrees, and snowing out here it's gonna freeze as quickly as water," says Amrhein. "You need to go to the winter grade blue you're gonna get down to probably 10 degrees or so but if you go to the purple or you go to the orange. Those are the really subzero weather that they really make a difference that they're not going to freeze on you."


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