Please Prepare Now for the Coming Arctic Frost
A major winter storm is raging across the country this week, bringing heavy snow, strong winds and single-digit temperatures as far south as Louisiana. Conditions are expected to significantly impact holiday travel , and similar hurricanes have recently caused problems with power grids and other infrastructure, even in states that are accustomed to winter weather . Remember how the arctic frosts went for Texas ( not used to winter weather) in February 2021?
Therefore, especially if you live in a place that rarely experiences extreme cold, ice or snow, you should check the weather forecast and prepare your home and belongings accordingly . Here are the precautions to take into account before any winter storm.
Bring your pets and plants inside
This should be an easy task, but it is unlikely that anything living will survive the arctic frosts well. If you have pets, livestock, or plants outdoors, bring them inside or prepare a shelter until the temperature rises. For cold-sensitive plants in the ground, cover them at the very least, though note that high winds can make shelters less effective and you should definitely tie or secure blankets, cloth, or cloth.
Clean out your gutters
This should have been on your fall home maintenance to-do list , but now is the perfect time to remove leaves and debris from your gutters to reduce the risk of ice dams that can prevent melting snow from draining off your roof and cause water damage. .
Protect your pipes
Insulating and/or draining the pipes in your home is no guarantee against bursting, but it can certainly reduce the risk. You will need to turn off the main water faucet in your home and then flush the toilets and run the taps until they are empty ( here is a very detailed guide). Remember to fill tubs, coolers, and jugs first so you have water to drink, flush, etc.
If you can’t or don’t want to turn off the water completely during a storm, at least protect the pipes with insulation ( an alternative to real insulation is pool noodles ) and turn on the taps to let cold water run. Leave kitchen and bathroom sink doors open to expose pipes to warm air. You should also remove hoses, winterize pools and plumbing fixtures, and shut off all outdoor water sources.
Seal or insulate windows and doors
Heat can easily be lost (and cool air can enter) through window and door slits. Add weatherproofing for insulation, or stuff with towels to prevent drafts. Keep curtains and blinds closed.
Charge all your electronics to a full battery
If there is a risk of power loss, make sure all devices are fully charged. It is also recommended to have extra portable batteries (also fully charged) in case the power goes out for a while, as well as flashlights with extra batteries and/or a solar-powered camping lantern . If you don’t have these supplies for this storm, add them to your emergency kit for the next one.
And a reminder: don’t use the oven or stove for heating, and be sure to place portable generators outside, away from any buildings. And make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working.