When Temperatures Dip, Will Your Family Be Ready?
Major winter storms do more than give your snow blower a reason to live; Heavy snow and extreme cold can last for several days and your family should have a plan to remain safe during dangerous times.
When storms dominate the forecast, there are a few steps every family should take but may not come to mind immediately. Stocking up on non-perishables and minimizing outdoor travel should seem like no-brainers, but beyond finding a matched set of mittens, many families forget some of the other simple steps required to keep safe and warm.
- Run the water regularly – Your plumbing system is critical during a winter storm. Pipes freezing and bursting could lead to some of the most expensive home repairs. This is especially true in southern climates where pipes may be more exposed in an attic or crawl space .. Opening the faucet, even just a drip, will provide relief from the excessive pressure that comes with ice blockage and can prevent a burst pipe.
- Have extra pet food and water for pets on hand – Non-perishable food items and extra water (a gallon per day per person) should be automatic when preparing for an upcoming storm. But don’t forget about the other important members of the family and have extra stores of pet meds and food.
- Install storm windows – During the summer months when you’re making home improvements, take a good look at your windows. Check for air leaks on windy days and make upgrades if necessary. Storm windows provide an extra layer of protection for your home.
- Have a home backup generator installed – When the power goes out during the storm, a home backup generator keeps the lights and heat on. A automatic home backup generator is a great option because it immediately kicks on when your power goes out and maintains a sense of normalcy when all else fails.
- Reverse your ceiling fan – Ceiling fans aren’t only useful in the summer. Reversing the direction of your ceiling fan pushes warm air downward. If you make sure your fan is turning clockwise, you’ ll stay more comfortable during cold winter months.
- Winterize your sprinkler system – This should be done at the end of the fall. Winterizing your sprinkler system includes not just turning off the water supply, but ridding the pipes of excess water by blowing compressed air through the sprinkler lines.
- Reduce risk of ice dams by properly insulating the attic – Ice dams occur when snow on your roof melts and then freezes near the edge of the roof. This blocks water from draining off the roof and forces it into your attic. Proper insulation reduces the amount of heat escaping your home via your roof. The risk of ice damming can be reduced by making sure your roof and insulation are both in good shape.
It’s essential to remember to stay warm, dry and calm during a winter storm. Being prepared before a storm occurs is crucial. By having a plan you can ensure safety for your family and stability for your home.