Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Are You Ready for the Cold?

If you haven't watched the news recently, you may not know that a massive arctic weather system is headed towards the US (and not just part of the US but it will impact MOST of the US).  Even in Las Vegas we are expecting below freezing temperatures which is not unheard of but is also not very common.  Here's some tips to prep for the cold weather that is heading our way:

  • Wrap your water pipes and insulate your exterior faucets (drain and remove hoses as well).
  • Be sure you have plenty of food, water, and supplies at home (you may not be able to get out to the store for a few days).
  • Prepare for power outages, a common event in icy weather.  Make sure you have an alternative heating system, and alternative way to cook and heat water. Keep stored water on hand, especially if you have a well and need electricity to draw water.  Have fresh batteries in your flashlights and radio to use during a power outage.
  • Be aware of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning (ie: don't use non-indoor heating appliances to heat your home as this can KILL you).
  • Get your car ready for the cold (check the oil, check the tires, add antifreeze, put new wiper blades on, etc).
  • Bring pet inside during particularly bad weather.
  • Make sure that water for your outdoor animals is not frozen over.
  • Keep sand or salt on hand to make your deck/walkway/driveway less slippery.
  • If you use wood for heating and cooking, make sure you have extra on hand.
  • Top off your oil tank if you use oil for heating or hot water.
  • Make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries.
  • Although it is short notice, any extra caulking insulating you can do (to your windows, your attic, etc) will help.
  • Pay attention to the news for current updates on the weather in your area.
  • If you need to renew prescriptions in the near future, do it now.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather and avoid hypothermia.
  • Know where your city's emergency shelters are ahead of time (you may never need it but a big tree coming through your roof can change this).
More cold weather tips can be found here, here and here.

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