We (particularly The Husband) are teeming with excitement for our first winter: our first touch (and perhaps taste) of real snow, the chilly winter air and the rich winter fare. But we never expected to get some harsh winter weather this early on. The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex will be (or rather, as of press time, is already in the middle of) hit by a winter storm.
We’ve experienced loads of tropical and desert storms, and now will be going through another first of its kind storm, one that involves below freezing temperatures and, naturally ice. So being the winter storm rookie that I am, I did my homework, asking family and friends and, of course, the Internet (Thanks to warnings from the US National Weather Service powered by The Weather Channel, Wunderground and Google), for some tips that we need to consider in preparation for this extreme change in weather.
Here are useful tips and notes that are good to now if you’re a winter storm virgin like I am:
- Water in your pipes may freeze (and worse, burst!). So to prevent this, keep all concealed water pipes, like the ones under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, warm by opening the doors to help warm air circulate. Also, keep the water moving by keeping it a drip all day. OR if you have time and resources, invest in pipe insulation sleeves. I’m no handyman, so I won’t even attempt to work on a place that isn’t even ours (Damage from amateur work might actually cost us more)
- Ice accumulations may weigh down tree branches (which can cause damage to power lines) and power lines, so there may be power outages. In the event of power outage (which is scary because even our heat depends on electricity!), be sure to prepare the following:
- Have a lot of ready to eat items at home like canned goods, nuts, chocolate, bread, fruit (or adobo would be nice too!) that do not require any cooking.
- Fully charge and conserve battery power of your key electronic devices, especially mobile phones and laptops.
- Have candles, matches / lighters and flashlights with batteries.
- Have extra blankets to help keep you warm in case power (and heating as in our case) goes out.
- Save water, as per my Tita, sometimes the toilet does not flush. Acccck!
- An old school battery powered transistor radio on hand would be good to have as it would be your ear on the ground in case all hell breaks lose.
In your car
- Invest in snow / tire chains, which help create traction when your car travels on snow or ice. Unfortunately, we did not invest in these yet, as it doesn’t snow or ice as often in Texas. But if you live in a place, where you get a lot of snow, then it is recommended to invest in a pair.
- Have a bag of sand in your trunk. It will help weigh down the car in case it skids on ice, plus sand placed under tires will help create traction for your tires on ice.
- Have a blanket, an extra jacket, rainboots and food, just in case you get stranded inside your car.
- It also helps to have an extra tank of gas in your trunk (to help keep engine and heater running in the cold) in case you get stuck.
- JUST DON’T GO OUT! When there is ice on the road, don’t attempt to drive or even just walk. Ice is very slippery. You can slip and get a concussion! The Husband and others are lucky to have the option to work from home. But, as my uncle said, what is losing a few hundred dollars versus the risk of losing your own life or even lives of others, right?
- But in case you do need to drive, stay in low gear and don’t put the pedal on the metal.
- When braking, pump the brake pedal slowly and don’t just push the brake pedal as it may cause the car to skid.
- In case of any accident, do not get out of your car. Unless the car is burning or will explode, stay inside the car. Apparently, the stepping out of the car is more dangerous than the actual car accident.
In the event of any emergencies, call 911. I learned that it is not a free service, BUT it is better to let the professionals get to you, rather that you attempting to get to professional help and hurting yourself and possibly other people in the process.
Have you got any other winter storm tips to share? Please pray that nothing bad happens to our wee home in the Land of the Free!
Delicious about delicious,
P.S. For a complete list of what to do as advised by the US government, find more information from here. Pretty cool huh?