By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Preparation and patience should be the meditative chants for anyone planning a move, but when you're moving between late fall and spring, you've got to be ready for a "weather event" at a moment's notice. Few parts of the US are exempt from extreme weather, from blizzards across most of the country, to heavy rains in the warmer South. So, what do you do when you're going on the road exactly when the weather guy is saying don't even think about it?
There's absolutely nothing you can do about a blizzard but having a backup plan will help you weather any storm. Have a checklist (there are several good moving apps for this sort of thing) in case you need to reroute and reschedule and include these topics on your list.
Notify Your Realtor
On the off chance your realtor hasn't seen a weather report, let them know that there's a storm coming, and you may have to delay vacating the house. Real estate transactions seldom happen in a vacuum and if you're affected, so are your buyers, their buyers, and so on. Don't fret, it will all work out.
If you know you'll be moving when there's the possibility of foul weather, ask your moving company about how they handle it. Keeping their crews safe is paramount, and they will have a protocol for bad weather. This could mean loading as much as they can and returning once things clear up to finish or waiting to load at all. If conditions get bad on the road they will pull over until the roads are safe to travel. In short, getting there safely is top priority. Unless the storm is brutal, most interstates are cleared quickly.
Plan Your Own Storm Safety
How you manage your family during the storm is dependent on several factors--how far away are you moving, do you expect to lose power (many new neighborhoods have underground lines), are you safe staying in your old home and camping out, do you have hotel reservations along the route?
Camping out is not much fun in an empty house with a cleaned-out fridge and the threat of a loss of power, so staying in a hotel or with friends is a better option. If you're expecting a few inches of snow and then clearing and melting that's easy to deal with; if you've got an ice storm and downed trees and power lines, and continued sub-freezing temperatures, you need to go ahead and move your family to other lodgings. Ice can create more serious delays than rain or snow, so be ready for several days of waiting if ice is the problem.
If you are in route and bad weather is predicted, go ahead and make hotel reservations. Even if you think you can get through, or you're not sure how much the impact will be, keep in mind that rooms are finite, and you don't want to be stuck in a sketchy area with your family. Most non-pet hotels make exceptions in inclement weather and they're welcome in your room.
Pack a cooler or two with snacks, drinks, and sandwiches--when the power's out, restaurants aren't open. Also, have blankets, plenty of chargers, and flares in the car should you have car trouble or get in an accident--help will come, but will be delayed.
Keeping Your New House Clean
Reality check--all the blankets and towels in the world aren't going to keep your floors clean when you're moving in wet, snowy weather. You can avoid some mud and scuffs by laying heavy cardboard on the most heavily trafficked areas, but unless the professional movers remove their shoes every time they come in the house, it's an uphill battle. Schedule a carpet cleaning as soon as you can, and vacuum and mop hardwoods as soon as everything is inside.
If you're delayed a couple of days by weather, remember there is little you can do to move things along. Relaxing might be a challenge, but you'll be in your new house for a long time and the Great Blizzard of 2019 (or 2020) will become part of the family lore before you know it.
Request a free quote