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Tips to help you prepare for this bone chilling weather

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As the arctic blast approaches, here are some times to help prepare you for this bone chilling weather.  Watch for ice on bridges and overpasses, if you do not have to get out, stay inside.   If you are on the roadways, SLOW DOWN and use extra caution.

Protect your water pipes:

Before Freezing Weather

  • Wrap all exposed pipes located outside or in unheated areas of the home.
  • Remove garden hoses from outside faucets. Insulate outside faucets with Styrofoam cover, rags or paper.
  • Cover vents around the foundation of your home.
  • Know where your property owner’s cut-off valve is located and how to use it. Apply oil such as WD-40 to the cut-off valve before operating to prevent the valve from breaking. The valve is located adjacent to the water meter box under a 6″ metal lid.

In Sub-Freezing Weather

  • Drip outside faucets 24 hours a day (5 drops per minute). This is not necessary unless temperatures are expected to be 28 degrees or below for at least 4 hours. (Be sure to turn off the faucets after the threat of freezing weather.)
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls.
  • In unheated garages, shut off water to washing machines. Water softeners should be drained and protected from freezing temperatures.
  • In sustained sub-freezing weather, let water drip slowly from inside faucets.
  • Take extra precautions to protect pipes that have frozen in the past.

If You Are Not Going To Be Home

  • Shut water off at the property owner’s cut-off valve.
  • Drain all outside water faucets if your house will be unoccupied for several days (leave outside faucets open).
  • Or, leave home heating system on at a low setting.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls.

Protect your home:

  • Utilize freeze protection on your pool, if you have one.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Be prepared to know how to turn off your main water valve in case a water pipe bursts.
  •  Bring potted plants inside or store in the garage near an interior wall; For cold-sensitive outdoor plants, put down extra mulch and consider covering with a cloth fabric.
  • Protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector, and never use generators, grills, camp stoves or similar devices indoors.
  • Place towels on the bottom of door and window frames to prevent cold air from coming inside.
  • Assure that space heaters are away from all flammable materials and at least 3 feet away from any other household furnishings and away from all walls.

Protect your animals:

  • Do not leave your family pets outside.  Bring all of your animals indoors.
  • Make sure your pets have a warm place to sleep, away from doors and windows.
  • Bang on your hood before starting your vehicle.  Cats like to crawl underneath warm vehicles to escape the cold.

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