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After The Winter Storm

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As almost the majority of the nation has been hit hard this winter, it is important to be prepared for the aftermath of a deep freeze. With many homeowners seeing record low temperatures in the last few days, many don't realize that the damage from these temperatures may not be apparent for days and weeks after the cold is gone. Here are a few simple items from NOAA that you should consider as temps start rising.

  • Call Your Neighbors: Check to see that your neighbors are okay after the storm, particularly seniors, disabled persons or others living alone. Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death after storms, particularly when there are power outages. Cases of frostbite and hypothermia are also common for elderly people who were stuck in their homes.

  • Check Your Pipes: Your pipes may be frozen. Water pipes on exterior walls and in places that are subject to cold, like in the basement, attic, and under kitchen cabinets, freeze most often. Water expands as it freezes, causing pipes to burst. If they are frozen, first turn on the faucet. Water will drip as you warm the pipes. Heat the pipes using a space heater, heating pad, electric hair dryer, or hot water on a cloth. Never use an open flame. Continue until water pressure returns to normal or call a plumber if you have more issues.

  • Salt Your Walkways: Once it warms up enough to out, it's important to shovel the snow from your sidewalks and driveway or sprinkle salt if there is ice. If there is a thick layer of snow on the ground you cannot move, salt the area so that the snow melts. You should also put down salt if there is ice on your stairs leading into your house--less than a quarter-inch of ice can be dangerous!

  • Refill Your Supplies: This storm may be over, but there might be another one soon. Every storm is different, so it is important to always be prepared. Be sure to take an inventory of your emergency supplies and restock any items that you have used during this most recent event. It is also a good time to check for any expired items as well.

As always we want to hear your stories about how well you weathered the snow, ice, and extreme cold temperatures. Leave your story below and two posts will be chosen at random to receive our oval TalkWeather sticker.

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California, United States
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We invested in a gasoline powered generator to deal with extended power outages. The investment is obvously steep but is well worth it in the long-run. Just be sure to set up the generator OUTSIDE your home and not in your garage. Adding some antifreeze to the gasoline is advisable if you have to run the generator in very cold outdoor temperatures.


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Great post WesL! I've got a 4 wheel drive truck and I've spent the better part of the last 3 days running errands for people (nearly all seniors) to the groc store and pharmacy for them. I checked on 2 elderly ladies yesterday morning on the other side of town and they were almost completely out of food and was able to bring them a load. Also pulled a guy in a car out of a yard he got stuck in. My truck is pretty old with a lot of miles on it, but has been invaluable for me and those I've been able to help with the terrible road conditions in NW AL