Do you live in an area expected to be affected by the next round of brutally cold weather? I do…I live in the Great Lakes area and we saw -12 temps (not wind chill) last week during the “Polar Vortex” brought on by Winter Storm Ion.
Here’s how to be prepared for the next round, forecasted to begin any time now:
Take these steps to prevent pipes from freezing:
Disconnect outside water hoses.
Inspect outside faucets, and repair dripping or leaking faucets.
If your home has an interior shut-off valve leading to outside faucets, close them and drain water from the pipes.
Cover outside faucets with a faucet insulation kit available at home and garden stores.
Apply heat tape around exposed pipes.
Allow a trickle of hot and cold water to drip overnight in sinks and bathtubs that have supply pipes that run along outside walls.
PLEASE don’t forget your pets during this super cold time of the year too!
The Red Cross gives us this list of preparations for winter storms:
- Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
- Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
- Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
- Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets and warm clothing for all household members
- Ample alternate heating methods such as fireplaces or wood- or coal-burning stoves
- Read their site here for information on how to RESPOND during a winter storm
Tools to Help Be Prepared – Check Them Out:
Most importantly, don’t panic! Be prepared ahead of time and be careful. Remember: Safety first!