Do you have what you need to get through a winter storm?

Last week, central Oklahoma experienced its first snowfall of the winter season, and we’re expected to see more soon. Make sure you have everything you need to get through a winter storm! Severe weather has the potential to bring with it freezing rain and damaging winds. Don’t wait until a storm hits to prepare your home and your family. We’ve put together some helpful tips to get you through the toughest of storms.

We cannot press enough the importance of paying attention to your local news stations. If severe weather is headed your direction, you’ll want to remain up to date on the latest information, which includes highway and road closings, school and business closings, as well as any other pertinent instructions or warnings.

Before a Winter Storm

Don’t cause yourself unwarranted stress or problems. Prepare yourself and your home ahead of time so that when a winter storm does hit, you’ll have the items you need and the necessary plans in place.

  • In case of an emergency, you may need to use your vehicle, so make it’s winterized. Ensure your tires have good tread, your wipers work effectively, and that no lights are out. Fill your gas tank completely. Put together an emergency kit that includes water, food, blankets, first-aid kit, tool kit, and anything else you think you might need.
  • If you haven’t already scheduled your yearly furnace tune-up, do so now. The last thing you want is for a cold spell to hit and you not have the necessary warmth to get through it.
  • Purchase a backup generator and a space heater. The price will vary for both depending on what you need powered and the size of your home.
  • If you know a storm is headed your way, stay put at home. However, sometimes that’s not always an option. Come up with a family plan so that you can keep in contact with one another and know the locations of each member.
  • Purchase sand or salt to put on your walkways and driveways.
  • Purchase external battery chargers so that you will always have power for your cell phone in case of an emergency.
  • Bring your pets indoors; don’t risk their safety. If it’s not snowing, but it’s still cold outside, keep them inside. They need warmth too!
  • Water is a necessity; prevent frozen pipes by keeping cabinet doors open and running the faucet. Turn your faucet on to where it drips slightly.

During a Winter Storm

As soon as inclement weather hits your area, stay put! Even if it the conditions don’t appear dangerous, it’s best to ere on the side of caution. If, however, you must leave your home, whether it’s because of work or because you’ve lost power, drive carefully and let someone know the route you’re taking.

  •  Pour salt or sand on your walkway and driveway to prevent others from falling.
  • Only leave your house if necessary. We do not advise you to drive under severe weather conditions, however, sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. Make sure you have your emergency kit ready to go!
  • If you have frozen pipes, keep the water faucet open. You can attempt to thaw a frozen pipe with a space heater or hair dryer or by wrapping them with a hot wet towel. DO NOT USE: a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or any type of open flame device. If you are unable to restore your pipes, call a licensed plumber right away.
  • Have your generator and space heater ready in case there is a power outage.
  • If after a few hours, power hasn’t returned to your home and you don’t have enough supplies to stay warm, you can text SHELTER + your ZIP CODE to 43362 (4FEMA) and they will direct you to the nearest shelter. (EX: SHELTER20181)
  • If you’re going to be away on vacation, make sure to set your heat at no lower than 55 degrees.

For information on or assistance with HVAC efficiency, give Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 405-794-8900.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to learn more about maintaining a safe and energy-efficient home. Should a heating problem arise this winter, give us a call as soon as possible or schedule service online.