Prepare for Below-Freezing Weather
The forecast seems to be changing by the hour, but it does appear we’re headed for some below-freezing weather in the week ahead! Now would be the ideal time to prepare - but we know many folks are busy with Christmas prep. So here are a few reminders of things you can do to safe warm & safe in freezing weather:
Turn off or cover exterior hose bibs - if you haven’t already, remove those hoses!
Clear your gutters. Melting ice and/or snow can cause problems with roof leaks or basement flooding.
Get some salt or sand for your steps and driveway - and grab a snow shovel just in case those Winter wishes come true.
Check the batteries in your C02 and smoke detectors. If the weather is in the teens as predicted, many people will need auxiliary heat sources which increases fire hazards (remember it is unsafe to use barbecues and propane heaters indoors).
Remember to close the damper on your fireplace! A lot of heat can be lost this way if you leave it open.
Grab some extra batteries and easy to prepare foods with your eggnog, just in case we lose power and the roads are too icy to travel after the storm.
Be sure you have emergency items in your car, including a full tank of gas, water, a radio, battery cell phone charger, a warm blanket, gloves, a flashlight, snacks and some sort of deicer or traction assistance – even kitty litter will do! Don’t forget to check with WADOT before traveling! They make it easy (and sometimes amusing) to find local updates on the roads https://wsdot.wa.gov/
Put that leftover bubble wrap (the small kind) to good use, and use it to insulate your single pane windows!
Remember to grab extra bottled water and stay hydrated (Booze doesn’t count - it actually lowers your core temp). It’s easy to lose track of this when it’s cold outside, but it’s really important.
Keep your neighbors in mind. Check on elderly folks or friends living alone who might need a hand completing these tasks! Temps in the teens are tough even when you’re inside…but we have a lot of unhoused neighbors in Pierce County and it’s deadly when temps drop below freezing. Hats, gloves and blankets (fleece or wool) are always appreciated at the Tacoma Rescue Mission during these Winter months.