It’s time to winterize your home


If you have been putting off winterizing your home, you may have woken to a little seasonal reminder this morning. Looking out the window this mid-October day, it is unusual to see snow falling here in central Massachusetts – as it is in other parts of the Eastern seaboard. If you want a sneak peak of what the season is likely to hold in store, check out AccuWeather.comcom’s Chief Meteorologist and Long Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi’s winter weather forecast for 2009-2010.
In this post, we’ve gathered up a variety of links and resources to help you in planning for winterizing your home.

Now’s The Time To Winterize Your Home
Before Winter Storms and Extreme Cold – tips from FEMA for preparing your home and your car for severe weather
How to Winterize Your Car
Homewizard – free service to help you to save energy costs, improve safety, and extend the useful lives of your home and appliances. You can sign up for monthly email reminders of various household maintenance tasks that you should be scheduling, or see the maintenance library.
Energy Money Saving Tips
20 Free Ways to Save Energy
Cheap Ways to Stay Warm this Winter
How to weatherstrip your windows – (video)
Winter Emergency Kits
Emergency Car Kit
Basic Disaster Supplies
72-Hour Family Emergency Kit

Do you have tax deductible losses from storm damage, fire, or theft?


If you suffered unreimbursed losses of more than $500 due to severe storm damage, fire, theft, disaster, or loss on your deposits in 2008, you may qualify for a tax deduction. You must be able to document the extent of your loss and if you were compensated by your insurer, you must subtract the amount of compensation from your overall loss. A short clip from the Insurance Information Institute offers more information:

Kimberly Lankford of Kiplinger’s discusses storm-related tax deductions and points to a helpful casualty loss calculator.

Or you might go right to the source -the IRS provides a variety of publications and tools about available deductions. Here are a few:

Casualties, disasters and thefts – for use in preparing 2008 returns; explains the tax treatment of casualties, thefts and losses on deposits. A casualty occurs when your property is damaged as a result of a disaster such as a storm, fire, car accident or similar event. A theft occurs when somebody steals your property. A loss on deposits occurs when your financial institution becomes insolvent or bankrupt. This publication discusses definition of losses, how to figure the amount of your gain or loss, how to treat insurance and other reimbursements, deduction limits, and any special rules.

Tax relief in disaster situations – various resources and fact sheets

Disaster losses – PDF brochure from the IRS

2008 – federally declared disasters and emergencies