Living in a warm southern climate can sometimes mean we aren’t ready to tackle the problems frigid winter weather can bring. It’s important to make sure you’re prepared so you can keep your cool in the cold.
Protect Your Home
• Avoid frozen pipes by dripping your faucets in the kitchen and bath when the temperature drops below freezing. Also open the cabinet doors under the sinks to allow warm air in.
• Insulate your outside faucets with an insulating foam cover found in home improvement stores.
• Disconnect and drain garden hoses before cold weather arrives.
• Use a hair dryer, heat lamp, electric heat tape or a space heater to thaw frozen pipes. Keep the faucet open to allow water to flow when thawing.
• Learn how to shut off water valves in case of a burst pipe.
• Set the refrigerator ice maker to make ice if the water line runs under the house.
• Run paddle ceiling fans on low in reverse (clockwise) to circulate warm air.
• Install sheet plastic window insulation kits inside of windows.
• Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys before use.
• Check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
• Trim trees before winter arrives. Ice and snow can weigh down branches causing weak limbs to fall and damage your home or car.
Protect Your Car
• Check antifreeze levels to make sure your engine runs smooth in cold temperatures.
• The cold can reduce tire pressure so check the air and fill low tires.
• Keep an ice scraper in your car to clear off icy windshields.
• When traveling, keep your phone charged and gas tank filled. Better yet, have a phone charger adapter in your car.
• Keep a blanket, warm clothing, flashlight, jumper cables and snacks in your car in case of emergencies. Avoid keeping these items in your trunk in case it gets frozen shut.
• Stock up on rock salt, sand or clay based kitty litter to use on icy walks and drives.
• Fill your pantry with nonperishable food and water in case of snow days.
• Have flashlights, batteries, a weather radio and a manual can opener on hand in case of power outages.
• Refill prescriptions before bad weather arrives. Since it’s also cold and flu season, it’s a good idea to stock up on medicine, cough drops, tissues and other items before you get sick.
• Keep pets indoors and have food and water stocked for them too.