23 Winter Weather Tips for Your Home, Car and Pets

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    It is the time of the year again where dangerously cold weather has arrived and will surely stick around for the next few days.

    Be ready for some coldest air of the season, with wind chills and overnight low of 10 degrees.

    Here are some helpful tips that you can use to cope with this dangerously cold weather at home, in your car and when caring for your pets:

    AROUND YOUR HOME

    1. Stay indoors if possible. If you must go outdoors, officials urge you dress warmly and wear loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Wear a scarf over your mouth to protect your lungs.
    2. Watch for signs of hypothermia, including uncontrollable shivering, weak pulse, disorientation, incoherence and drowsiness, and frostbite, including gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness and waxy-feeling skin.
    3. Have safe emergency heating equipment in your home, as well as a flashlight, portable radio and three days’ worth of food in case the power goes out.
    4. To prevent frozen pipes, State Farm suggests letting your hot and cold faucets drip overnight and open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks on exterior walls.
    5. Find the water shut-off valve in your home in advance of a water emergency, so you know where to go if a pipe bursts, D.C. Water spokesperson Pamela Mooring advised.
    6. Disconnect garden hoses and, if practical, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.
    7. If you’ are going away for an extended period of time, be sure to maintain adequate heat inside your home at no lower than 55 degrees.
    8. Do not place a space heater within three feet of anything combustible.
    9. Go ahead and program your local utility contact information into your cell phone now, before you need them.

      Important Utility Numbers include:

           — Pepco: 1-877-737-2662
      — Baltimore Gas and Electric (BG&E): 1-877-778-2222 or 1-800-685-0123
      — SMECO: 1-877-747-6326 or 1-888-440-3311
      — Washington Gas: 1-800-752-7520 or 1-703-750-1400
      — Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC): 1-800-828-4002

    KEEPING YOUR CAR SAFE AND RUNNING

    1. If your car battery is three years old or older, it is more likely to fail as temperatures drops,according to AAA. Never attempt to charge or jump-start a battery that is frozen, as it may rupture or explode.
    2. Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
    3. Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
    4. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
    5. If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
    6. Wintry weather can contribute to the deterioration of your windshield wipers. Worn blades streak and impair vision, which is critical during winter months. AAA says wiper blades should be replaced every year.
    7. Keep your washer fluid topped off with winter formula fluid so it won’t freeze. Many of your car’s fluids should be checked once a month.

    FULL STORY HERE

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