LUBBOCK, Texas — Being ready for winter weather means preparing in advance.
When temperatures drop below freezing, the threats increase tremendously with winter storms bringing the possibility of car accidents, power outages, and multiple health concerns.
It is recommended to winterize your home before those freezing temperatures hit and following these suggestions will help retain heat in your home in the event of a power outage.
Fiberglass or cellulose insulation needs to be reevaluated every ten to twelve years for its efficiency. Re-insulating your attic can help with electrical costs and help keep the warm air inside your home.
Caulking and weather stripping around windows will keep cold air from getting in and hot air from escaping.
It can never hurt to leave a faucet dripping overnight when temperatures drop below freezing to ensure that pipes in the attic don’t freeze and burst causing a whole host of other issues.
Remember to install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups. This can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning which increases during the winter months due to the lack of ventilation in homes.
If the electricity goes out only use a generator outdoors and do not use a gas stove to heat the home. Wearing layers and bundling up are the safest ways to stay warm if the power goes out.
Officials say during a winter storm warning to avoid roadways if possible.
You should always check the weather forecast and road conditions before venturing out in the elements. Topping off fluids and fuel in your vehicle is also recommended. A full gas tank can help with better traction on the road and prevent lines from freezing.
Having a winter car kit before any excursion can better your odds in the event your vehicle gets stuck in a storm.
You can purchase a winter car kit from retailers or create your own. Items could include but are not limited to the following:
- First Aid Kit
- Cat litter or sand for better tire traction.
- Flares or reflectors
- Ice scraper with a snow brush
- Cell phone charger and charger bank
- Bottled waters & snacks
- Gloves & blankets
- Jumper cables or Jump starter
The National Weather Service will issue different weather forecasts based on what type of weather is occurring.
A Winter Weather Advisory is when there is going to be a few inches of snow on the ground. When a winter storm is in the forecast a Winter Storm Watch is issued to alert all involved.
One or two days before heavy snowfall that could include four to six inches of snow over a twelve to twenty four hour period a Winter Storm Warning will be issued.
Although it doesn’t happen often in the area, a Blizzard Warning occurs when there are visibility issues due to blowing snow.
Paying attention to these warnings will help keep you prepared for those harsh winter storms.