With the winter weather closing in on us, everyone rushes to Wal-Mart to get last minute supplies, everyone stocks up on the necessities, and prepares their home and car for the freezing temperatures and brutal weather to come… or do they? Do we do enough to prepare for winter weather? Do we take the necessary precautions to not only prevent a cold house but possibly a devestating fire or car wreck? Common sense says we do… but do we really?
There are many steps that need to be taken to ensure that we avoid disasters in our car and home during severe winter weather. These disasters can range from a fender-bender to a 50 car pile up on the interstate, and can range from slipping and falling in the drive way to having a house fire. Here are some not so common sense tips on how to prepare your vehicle, home, and yourself for severe winter weather.
How to prepare your home…
1. Have your fireplace and furnace checked or cleaned by a professional at least once a year.
Heating fires account for 36% of residential home fires in rural areas every year. Make sure your home heating system is safe! Also, make sure the batteries in your home smoke detectors are checked once a month.
2. Stuff towels under doors at night and close off unused rooms in your home. This will save a lot of money keeping the heat in your home confined to where you need it.
3. Make sure all pipes are kept warm by running water frequently through them during temperatures below 32 degrees. This will prevent your pipes from freezing and cracking.
4. Prepare a survival kit for an emergency where the power goes out. The kit should include bottled water, nonperishable foods for family and pets, sleeping bags or bedding, extra clothes, medicine, flashlights, a battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, and a manual can opener.
We all know that feeling. You wake up to go to work, rush out of the house with a cup of coffee, get to your car and the windshield is frosted over and you have to wait 10 minutes for it to unfreeze. Here are some tips to make your car better in severe weather or in the morning of freezing weather.
How to prepare your vehicle…
1. Do proper maintence on your car before severe weather hits. Make sure your tires, breaks, battery, heating, and defrosting system are all good to go.
2. Invest in a windshield cover! Put it on the outside of your windshield at night, in the morning take it off and there is no frost on your windshield. No waiting for the defroster and frantically using your windshield wipers. This can be anything from a piece of cardboard to a bed sheet.
3. Keep your windshield wiper fluid full of nonfreezing solution.
4. If you do have to drive somewhere in severe weather, make sure you drive slowly, are always alert, slow down with plenty of room to stop, and attach chains to your tires if needed!
There is a possibility for severe winter weather in the near future, so be sure to follow all of these tips!
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