BREAKING NEWS: Winter is upon us. “So what” you say? We live in S. Texas – it’s always warm, sunny, driveway drinks and pool parties weather around here. MYTH. We can and do get freezes! Who remembers last February? That was pretty extra, and as atypical as it was, history CAN repeat itself.
I know we’re all tempted to start purchasing heat lamps and tents for our palms and delicate landscaping, but if you are among the majority who have children, pets, or anything with a heartbeat living under your roof, it’s best to learn from last year’s’ unfortunately scary and chilly events that to be prepared for inside is the best thing you can do.
Here are the top 5 ways to plan ahead to alleviate some of the discomforts of inclement weather.
- GENERATOR – get one. Any one. Small one, big one, automatic one, propane tank one, whole-home, portable…red one, blue one, get one, run run. You will not want the precious food (or beer) in your fridge to spoil, and you want to be able to at least turn on a small-space portable heater. IF your fridge isn’t going to run on the generator you have, pull out what’s important to you and put it outside! You have a FREE freezer on your patio.
- PIPE INSULATION – remember having no water? Or worse yet, no water AND a burst line? Head to your favorite hardware store and grab some pipe insulation. Know where your main water line is and make sure you have enough insulation (or in a clutch situation, blanket and lots of duct tape) to wrap it. Let your faucets drip slowly to keep that water moving, and it is less likely to freeze. In the unfortunate event of a burst, turn them off immediately.
- HEAT SOURCE – if you failed to grab that generator, have a back-up plan! If you have a fireplace, stockpile wood (and keep the flue closed when not in use!). Gas cooktops? Make sure you have a lighter to spark that bad boy up. If you followed rule #2, you’ll have water to boil for noodles, baby bottles, sponge bath…and while I give you a moment to get your mind out of the gutter…clear THEM, too! If there is debris in them, that melting ice could drip in to your attic. Make sure your doors and windows have tight seals to keep drafts out.
- CHARGERS – have your battery packs ALL juiced up so you do not end up with a dead cell phone and no way to communicate with the outside world. Or no way to keep yourself entertained…Netflix never sounded so good. Furthermore, have a full tank of gas in your car in the event you DO need to charge your devices from there!
- STOCK UP – on weighted blankets, board games, books, wool socks, candles, beef jerky (a personal favorite but any non perishable protein of your preference!), water (and wine…), flashlights and batteries, first-aid kit, and perhaps make an extra effort at making nice with your neighbors. Sometimes they’re the real saviors with a hot pot of coffee or quick shower.
I repeat: we CAN and DO freeze! Stick to this top 5 list first, and pray we can save it all for 2072.