Frigid temps return to area – prepare for icy conditions
As the Okmulgee area anticipates subfreezing and lows near 0 this weekend into next week, now is the time to prepare. Here are a few tips for preparing your homes and vehicles, courtesy of Okmulgee County Emergency Management: Sub-freezing temperatures can bring about various challenges for both homes and vehicles. Here are some safety tips to help you prepare and stay safe during extremely cold weather:
Home Safety Tips
Insulate exposed pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting. Use pipe insulation or wrap pipes with towels or other materials.
— Heating System Maintenance Ensure your heating system is in good working condition. Regularly check and service your furnace or heating system to avoid breakdowns during cold weather.
— Seal Leaks
Seal any gaps or drafts in windows and doors to prevent cold air from entering your home. Weather stripping and caulking can be effective.
— Keep Warmth Inside
Keep curtains closed at night to retain heat. Open them during the day to allow sunlight to naturally warm your home.
— Emergency Heat Sources
Have alternative heat sources available, such as space heaters or a generator, in case of a power outage. Follow safety guidelines when using these devices.
Prepare an emergency kit with essentials like blankets, non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, and a first aid kit.
— Know Your Water Shut-Off Valve
Locate and know how to shut off the main water supply in case of a burst pipe. This can prevent extensive water damage.
— Fireplace Safety
If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s in good working order. Use a screen to prevent sparks and embers from escaping.
— Keep Pets Indoors
Bring pets indoors during extremely cold weather or provide them with adequate shelter.
— Vehicle Safety Tips Check Antifreeze Levels
Ensure your vehicle’s antifreeze levels are adequate to prevent the engine from freezing. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
— Battery Health
Check your car battery and replace it if it’s old or not holding a charge well. Cold weather can be tough on car batteries.
— Tire Maintenance
Ensure your tires have sufficient tread and are properly inflated. Consider switching to winter tires if you live in an area with heavy snowfall.
— Emergency Kit for Vehicles
Keep an emergency kit in your car with essentials such as blankets, a flashlight, batteries, non-perishable food, water, and a first aid kit.
— Use Winter-Grade Oil
Switch to a winter-grade oil that can handle lower temperatures for smoother engine performance.
— Warming Up the Vehicle
Allow your vehicle to warm up before driving, especially in extremely cold temperatures. — Keep Fuel Tank Full
Keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent fuel lines from freezing.
— Drive Cautiously
Exercise caution while driving in icy or snowy conditions. Accelerate and decelerate slowly, and increase following distances.
– By taking these precautions, you can better prepare your home and vehicle for sub-freezing temperatures and reduce the risk of cold-weather-related issues.