Begin with a complete walk-through of the inside of the home. Winter's damaging effects are not limited to the outside. Next, follow these steps to prevent future damage:
"1. Organize. Store all cold weather items - not thrown in the garage or a closet - take this time to install shelves and organize.
2. Check all smoke detectors. Put a new battery in each detector, even if it appears to be working fine. The small investment in a new 9-volt battery is a small price to pay for safety. Replace them every six months - an easy way to remember is to change them once for summer and once for winter.
3. Check to make sure fire extinguishers are in good condition. Keep them in easy-to-grab places, but out-of-reach from children.
4. Check your clothes dryer. Clean the exit vents and clean behind them. This is a common place for fires to start.
5. Check your washing machine hoses for cracks or bubbles. This is the most common cause of flooding in the home.
6. Take a look at all outlets, appliances, cords, etc. for damage and replace if necessary.
7. Check all Air Conditioning vents & screens in the house. These will soon have a lot of air blowing through them and this small step will prevent dust and debris from blowing around the house. "
Paige Hemmis, The Tuff Chix Guide to Easy Home Improvement