This week it was announced that a polar vortex is set to hit the United States, bringing dangerously cold weather. The bitterly cold weather will be joined with strong winds from Tuesday through to Thursday.
Wind chills will see it hit as low as 60 degrees in some parts, this could see frostbite setting in within 5 minutes. Any exposed skin will be at risk, be sure to wrap up if you plan to go outside.
You should avoid going out unless you absolutely have to, getting to work or school could become life-threatening very quickly. If you rely on public transport to commute, it’s important that you keep moving while you wait. If you don’t you could be at risk.
Driving will be just as hazardous make sure you have a full tank before leaving, and warm clothes in case of a breakdown. A breakdown kit will be a very handy thing to have in the boot of your car this week.
You may even be at risk of your fuel tank freezing, be sure to make all the necessary precautions to stop this happening. If you fuel does freeze bring you car to a warm spot, bring out the heaters a thaw your fuel lines out.
The cold weather will wreak havoc in your homes, making sure you’re prepared can make all the difference.
Let me explain how…
Keep your thermostat at 65 degrees to ensure you reserve fuel, the polar vortex could last longer than expected.
Insulating your pipes will ensure that they don’t freeze during this cold spell. Staying ahead of the game is of the utmost importance in the weeks to come.
If you plan on using space heaters, make sure you keep them away from all flammable material to avoid a fire hazard.
What To Wear
If you’re forced to go out for any reason, it is important to choose appropriate clothing for the conditions.
What does this mean?
Well, wear layers to keep yourself insulated against the cold, and make sure your whole body is covered.
This means hands, ears, neck and your face. Make sure that your layers are loose, tight clothing will cut off circulation making you feel colder.
Frostbite and hypothermia will be a massive risk if you do not follow these precautions. It could take less than 15 minutes for the first signs of hypothermia to set in.
All in all, this is going to be a tough week in the US stay safe, keep yourself warm and stay indoors whenever possible. The weather will pass and we can all get back to normal in no time.
If you plan on vacationing before summer hits, or just want to take a “spring break”, there are some things that you should take care of before leaving your home. This winter consisted of very cold temperatures, which led to frozen and burst pipes. Even though the temperatures won’t be as cold as they were, plumbing issues can definitely still occur when you would at least expect it, so you should prepare now.
Here are some tips to follow that will help you avoid plumbing problems while you’re out of town.
1) Did you know that the life expectancy of a laundry machine hose is only about 3 years? If you’ve had your hoses for more than 3 years, you will definitely want to check them before you leave. Inspect them for cracks, or calcium deposit build up.
2) Leave your heat on in your home. Even though it is warming up outside, the nights are still a bit chilly. If your heat is set to 60 degrees or higher, it will prevent any of your pipes from freezing and bursting while you are gone.
3) Take the time to inspect your water heater. If you see any water on the floor before you leave, it could be a sign that your water heater needs to be replaced or repaired. If you inspect it and there isn’t a leak, you may just want to turn off your water heater or put the system in “vacation mode” if possible.
4) Make sure that your sump pump is working efficiently and effectively. Also, you want to make sure that you have some sort of backup in case of a power outage.
5) Give your drains some TLC before you leave; pour some drain cleaner down your drain prior to leaving for vacation. If you neglect them, you may come home to a foul odor coming from the drain system. It’s also a good idea to run your water and garbage disposal system a couple of times so that any food particles can go down correctly.
6) If you plan to be gone for more than a couple of weeks, you may want to consider shutting off your main water valve. If you decide to do this, no water will enter your home. Make sure that you open your faucets and drain the water out before you leave.
7) Have a designated friend or family member check up on your property once a week to make sure that everything is good at your home. You’ll also want to provide this person with emergency contact numbers in case of an emergency (including your plumber!).