Many parts of the U.S. are forecast to experience dangerous winter conditions this week, including flash-freezes from the mid-South to the East Coast, and heavy snow accumulations and strong winds for parts of the Plains into the Great Lakes.
We at HBL Insurance Agency want to help you and your family stay safe and protect your property during severe winter weather.
Keep in mind ways to stay safe during and after the storm:
Adjust your thermostat
Set your home temperature to at least 65 degrees. While you want to save money on heat, especially if you’re away, you also need to make sure your pipes don’t freeze and expand, causing connecting faucets and pipes to freeze and break.
Get your vehicle ready
Fill the gas and wiper fluid tanks to full, make sure the tires are properly inflated, and your car has been tuned up and is running smoothly before you leave. When temperatures drop, so does battery power, so make sure your battery has sufficient voltage, amperage, and reserve capacity, or replace it before you go.
Turn on local news radio
Continue to monitor local radio stations and media outlets for the latest updates on power outages, water/health advisories, and other important announcements.
Ensure your emergency supply kit is ready
Maintain an emergency supply kit that will sustain you and your family for a 72-hour period. This kit should include flashlights, a portable radio, extra batteries, non-perishable food, bottled water, cash, blankets, clothing, and toiletries.
What to do during a winter power outage?
If your area experiences a power outage, here are some helpful tips:
- Use flashlights, not candles. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Use flashlights instead of candles, which can get knocked over and increases the risk of fire.
- Keep water trickling. If your water is running, keep water trickling out of faucets to help prevent them from freezing.
- Locate the main water shut-off valve. In many southern states, the main water shut-off valve is often located outside the home, especially if there isn’t a basement. If you can access the shut-off, and if it’s safe to do so, consider shutting off the main water supply to your home. For more help finding your water shut-off and turning it off, watch this video.
- Keep at least one car outside the garage. If you are using a car to charge your electronics and devices, be sure to keep the car outside the home garage in an open area to avoid dangerous carbon monoxide build-up.
- Familiarize yourself with your garage door manual lever so that, in the event of a power outage, you can still operate the door.
- Do not store food outside or in the snow due to the risk of contamination
Have a safe Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.