How to Move Safely in Extreme Weather

In most cases of extreme weather, we recommend biting the bullet and postponing your move. The hassle of waiting a day or two is not worth the risk of seriously injuring yourself or damaging some of your precious items.

Moving companies may or may not be flexible, so make sure to talk to them about your rescheduling options should a major storm hit on your scheduled moving day.

If they refuse to change the date, or for whatever reason you simply must stick to your planned moving day, we’ve put together the following guidelines to help you execute your move safely.

First Things First

Extreme weather makes routine moving steps, thing you should be doing anyway, even more essential to check off your list. Whether you’ll be dealing with extreme heat or cold, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Keep track of weather reports in the week leading up to the move and check them frequently the day before and day of the move. Keep an eye on where big storms are headed and plan your route accordingly, going out of your way to avoid the worst of it if possible.

  • Wear proper foot-wear in rainy/snowy weather.

  • Lay down cardboard, old carpet, blankets, etc. to protect your floors and carpets from mud and water. You can also set up an assembly line, so that clean shoes stay inside and dirty shoes outside.

  • Keep temperature-sensitive electronics, artwork, and furniture in climate-controlled areas (i.e. not the back of a moving truck) whenever possible to avoid damages.

  • Make sure the utilities are on and working in your new home. Water, electricity, AC, and heating!

Moving in the Snow

  • Make sure all walkways are clear of snow or ice, and spread with sand/salt if necessary to prevent slips and falls.

  • Keep hot drinks on hand for everyone helping you move.

  • Service your car before the move, and make sure you have car insurance with roadside assistance.

  • Have a safety kit for the drive: rock salt, kitty litter, shovels, flares, tire-chains, extra gas, an emergency blanket, jumper cables, pocket warmers, a flashlight, extra batteries, cell phone chargers, food, extra clothing and a first-aid kit.

Moving in the Rain

  • If it’s especially wet outside, consider plastic wrapping your furniture, mattress, and cardboard boxes to protect them from water damage.

  • You can buy large rolls of plastic at stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s for much cheaper than what moving companies will charge for the service, or you can rent reusable plastic moving bins from companies like Gorilla Bins and Bin-It!

  • Have towels on hand to dry off yourself and your belongings.

  • If your cardboard boxes end up getting wet, unpack them as soon as possible to avoid mold buildup.

Moving in Hot Weather

  • Start your move as early as possible to take advantage of cooler morning temperatures.

  • Have water and other cold drinks on hand to stay hydrated and avoid heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

  • Avoid sunburns by covering up, using sunblock and taking regular breaks in the shade.

  • Have a change of clothes, towels and toiletries ready for a shower at the end of the day, because you’re going to get sweaty!

It’s easy to get caught up in the energy of a move, and lose yourself in the desire to finish everything as quickly as possible. This is dangerous behavior during extreme weather.

Follow these guidelines, and above all else, be smart, take breaks when you need to, and be safe!

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What is a Certificate of Insurance?

Moving seems to stir up a hurricane of vital documents — leases, income verification letters, DMV forms, medical records, insurance policies…the list goes on!

If you’re using a moving company, there’s one document in particular you need to know your way around: the Certificate of Insurance.

As far as titles go, Certificate of Insurance seems fairly self-explanatory at first glance. Most people understand both what a certificate is and what insurance is, right? What’s important to understand about the Certificate of Insurance is more what it isn’t than what it is.

Let’s start with what it is

A Certificate of Insurance is an informational document stating the existence of an insurance agreement between two parties. In a moving context, it’s what moving companies provide to customers to prove that they do indeed have insurance. It also serves as a summary of the insurance contract, with easily digestible information about said contract.

This document will typically include the names and contact details of the moving company, the insured party (i.e. the person who’s moving) and the insurance company, as well as basic information regarding what is covered.

It’s important to realize however, that the Certificate of Insurance is not the actual insurance policy contract!

A Certificate of Insurance is an easy document for moving companies to whip up for people, to provide peace-of-mind and assure them their goods are protected and they’ll be compensated in case of damages. But it will never include all the details or actual terms of the contract.

Because of this, it’s essential to look at the policy as well, so you can be clear on exactly what is covered, what is not covered, how long things are covered, in what cases they are covered, what the exceptions are, etc.

If/when you get a Certificate of Insurance, you’ll want to make sure all the names are correctly represented, the policy dates are accurate (e.g. they don’t expire before the move date), and that the insurance company named is a legitimate company.

Why Get a Certificate of Insurance?

First of all, landlords and property owners/managers will often request a Certificate of Insurance from tenants moving out, since the very process of moving can sometimes lead to property damage.

If that situation applies to you, make sure to ask if you need to provide a Certificate of Insurance before you move. And again, if applicable, don’t forget to ask the landlord or property manager of the building that you’re moving to as well. The risk of property damage is just as high for moving in as moving out!

Secondly, requesting a Certificate of Insurance is an easy way to vet a moving company’s legitimacy. A refusal to provide you with a Certificate of Insurance for any reason is a clear red flag.

Of course, if you did your homework, and found a legitimate, trustworthy moving company (click here for tips on how to do that), you won’t have to worry too much about being scammed!

For more information on moving insurance, and what options are available to you, read our guide on the subject here.

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