Weather advisory

Below freezing temperatures are predicted for 37 of the 51 hours starting in the early morning hours Wednesday and continuing until Friday at mid-day.

In this article are tips for what to do if staying home during the storm and what to do if your unit will be vacant during the sub-freezing temperatures.

If you are home during the freeze…

Drip your indoor faucets - Drip your indoor faucets. Don't forget the toilets. It is important to keep the water flowing in the pipes. You have water lines in the attic spaces that are prone to rupture if the water freezes and expands. Breaks in the main water line that runs through the garage attic was common in 2021 as were breaks in bathroom walls.

Cover your outdoor faucets - Check to be sure your hoses are disconnected and the faucets are covered/wrapped. A few weeks back our porter Jerry put covers on all the outside faucets. If you have an atrium, be sure to cover that faucet too.`

Be sure your fireplace flue is open – The fireplace and car may be your only sources of heat in the event of a power failure and poor travel conditions. If you are using the fireplace for heat and haven't used it in a while, be sure the flue is fully open. There should be a clamp that prevents it from being closed, but they have been removed in some homes.
Have working carbon monoxide detectors - Everyone should have these, they have been required by code since 2018 (the code is here), and they have a test button. If you don’t have them, you should purchase them (they are inexpensive). If you do have them, be sure the batteries are fresh. If the power goes off and you are heating your home with your gas fireplace, carbon monoxide is a concern; especially if you have not used your fireplace regularly. We had one resident last year hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning during the February 21 freeze. 

Gas up your car It's a good place to go to get warm up and charge things (with the garage door open, of course) if the power grid fails. 

Make sure you have power backup If the power grid fails you will want a power backup for light and phones.

  • Batteries for your flashlight. 
  • Small inexpensive energy storage devices to charge up your phone when it runs down. 
  • You may want to consider a monster charger like the Schumacher DSR116 DSR ProSeries ($200 at O'Reilly's) which has enough power to jump a car and run 12v appliances for a few days. 

If your home is vacant during the freeze…

Do not leave your home with the water pipes full of water - This was the cause behind the costliest freeze damages at LBT last year. Breaks in the main water line that runs through the garage attic was the most common. If you leave, winterize your house. 

  • Cut off the water at the emergency turnoff near the foundation (see photo below) or the water meter if the valves are corroded. The cutoff box is best as you can drain all the water from the vulnerable water pipe in the garage that is prone to freeze/leak.
  • Open all your faucets and flush toilets to allow the pipes to drain. 
  • Put RV antifreeze, or if you can't find that, "below zero" windshield washer fluid in your toilet bowl and tank. 
  • Don’t forget the hot-water heater – either set it to warm (if the gas is on) or drain it, if the gas is off.

A water meter wrench (above, right) is essential winter emergency gear available at Home Depot.

See all crime and safety articles here.


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