How To Prepare For The 'Polar Vortex'
Are you ready for the POLAR VORTEX? It’s time to button up or hunker down because meteorologists are predicting temperatures to plummet to a freezing 20-year low with wind chills as frigid as 35 degrees below zero!
With this arctic blast, temperatures and wind chills could drop to very unsafe levels for both your home and your well-being. In order to prepare, check out our tips below for taking on this upcoming polar vortex.
Dress Appropriately For Cold Weather
If you are going outside during this arctic blast, you'll want to make sure that you bundle up! Pile on multiple layers of clothes and be sure to wear gloves and a scarf, as you can run the risk of frostbite in as little as 15-30 minutes --most commonly located on the nose, fingers, cheeks and chin.
Stock Your Vehicle
Be prepared in the unfortunate situation of a car breakdown during this cold stretch. Pack a winter emergency car kit with blankets, food, and flashlights. Don't forget jumper cables and a good ice scraper! It's also a great time to stop at the gas station to fill up your tank to prevent any frozen gas lines/tank issues.
Prepare For Electrical Outage
Just like with any severe winter weather, you'll be glad you were proactive in the case of a power outage. Make sure you have blankets, flashlights, and candles accounted for if you find yourself without electric for any period of time during the polar vortex. You may also consider having all electronic devices charged up, with back-up batteries ready to go. Bottled water and non perishable food items are a good idea to stock up on if you find yourself out of electricity.
Keep Outdoor Animals Safe
If you have pets or livestock that reside outside of the house, make sure that you have made the proper accommodations to keep them safe and warm through this cold snap.
Watch For Frozen Pipes
Any time we experience temperatures this low, there is a risk for frozen pipes in your home. If you are able, keep the temperature in your home at a normal, even setting both day and night. If you are worried about frozen pipes, you can open cabinet doors where plumbing is located in order to allow warm air to circulate near those pipes. You can also turn your faucets on slightly to allow for a small, consistent drip, which can help keep water flowing through your pipes.
Protect Your Home From The Outdoor Elements
With temperatures dropping and wind speeds picking up, you'll want to make sure you do everything you can to keep your home from letting in the cold elements. Go around your house and make sure all windows and doors are locked and not letting in any drafts. Seal and block any areas that you can. Keep your garage door closed to help provide an additonal barrier to those outdoor elements.
Test Your Smoke & CO Detectors
Winter is hard on your heating system, even without a polar vortex. That being said, a dramatic drop in temperature will have your furnace working overtime and really put to the test. Any time you are operating a gas-powered appliance, you have a higher risk of carbon monoxide being a potential threat to your home. Take the necessary precaution of a furnace malfunction and make sure CO dectectors (and smoke alarms) are present throughout your home. Test them to ensure that they are operating properly and ready to alert you at the first sign of danger.
Stay safe and warm this week, and give our experts a call with any heating issues you may experience during this extreme cold weather!