Although not as common as summer PCS orders, many service members do receive orders that have them on the move in the winter months. We found four important tips to help make this winter PCS safe and smooth.
1. Think about the weather.
Weather can affect any move no matter the season. But, winter weather can lay the best-made plans to waste. Cold and snow make it harder to complete moves and can delay or seriously halt travel. Keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly. Get ready to be flexible and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Bad weather can also slow down how much work can be done once you arrive at your home, so keep that in mind when planning and budgeting your time.
Weather considerations are also important if you are PCSing from one weather extreme to another. If you are going from Florida to North Dakota, take some time to consider what you need to have once you get there and make it easily accessible. Warm clothes and shoes will need to be readily available for a cold move. The same applies to winter moves to more temperate climates. Make sure you have weather appropriate clothing and shoes for when the work begins of moving in.
2. Protect your belongings.
Winter moves can make for a hostile environment for some of your belongings. Anything that is especially delicate to temperature swings or moisture may be better off packed with you in a more temperature-controlled environment. Some sensitive items can include books and photos, which you may want to have with you. Pack them in preparation for whatever weather you are moving towards.
3. Get your car ready.
Before a winter move, treat your vehicle to a tune-up and have all the systems checked and serviced. Make sure you have the standard roadside supplies like flares. Check your spare tire and make sure it is in good shape. If going someplace cold, it’s not a bad idea to take some blankets, water, and snacks with you just in case of breakdown or delay.
4. Get your utilities set up and make sure they are on.
Don’t cut it too close with utilities. Try to have them turned on ahead of time so that you can turn the heat on upon arrival. No one wants to move to a new house and have to try to find a way to stay warm while moving things inside. It isn’t exactly fun to pay a utility bill in two places, but it is better than freezing while trying to get situated.
Winter moves can be challenging, but the positive side is that there can sometimes be great deals to be had when you buy a house in the winter. Have you PCS’d in the winter before? Can you think of any more valuable tips to make the move easier? Let us know by leaving a comment!