A winter ice storm can freeze rains, snow with extremely low temperatures and wild winds. Such conditions may last for a few days therefore for areas like Kansas City, we can experience harsh conditions quickly. Often times, it is instructed for us Kansas Citians to prepare our homes and family, but in the busyness of life many times we fail to do so. So what do you do if you find yourself iced in and you have not prepared? We are going to take a few minutes to talk about the obvious.
Pipes freeze and they cause lots of damage. Despite being insulated and in a heated home pipe breaks are a common occurrence when our temperatures drop into single digits. To avoid such unexpected water damage issues, it should be standard practice to keep the faucets dripping throughout your property. This is to ensure that water does not settle in one place thus there is no time to allow for freezing in the pipe systems.
If you find yourself dealing with a frozen pipe, the 1st thing to do is to turn off the water main before accessing the damage.
Keep the freezer and fridge doors closed as much as possible to hold in temperature. Once temperatures become warm, store many refrigeration items in the garage or another cold place of the house that doesn’t reach freezing temperatures. Use a thermometer to ensure that the temperature doe not exceed 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep frozen items outside as long as temperatures are below 30 degrees. Make sure to use all perishable foods first in case the power outage lasts for several days.
For many of us, our homes have a decent amount of square footage for optimal comfort. However, when the power is out the first priority is to reduce the square footage that you need heat dramatically. The first step is to find a heat source of some kind, a fireplace, a gas oven, portable heater, etc.
Secondly, is to make a small room size and seal it. By tapping off doorways with heavy-duty trash bags or heavy blankets surrounding the area with a heat source. It is best to seal off doorways with plastic first. Then place blankets over doorways and rolled up towels below doors for maximum results. This provides a small single area for all daily actions to take place, such as sleeping and spending time together, etc. If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace or woodstove. Make sure to gather firewood in close proximity to the sealed room to minimize heat loss going in and out of the sealed area.
Gather flashlights, batteries, candles, matchboxes or lighters. Things that will be able to serve during the winter ice storm days. Also for the same purpose of minimizing exterior doorways. For communication, it is instructed that you conserve the battery use on devices such as cell phones. In case one needs to make an important call or in the case of an emergency which cannot be foreseen.