EXTREME COLD HOME TIPS

Maintain Your Water Supply

Extreme cold can cause water pipes in your home to freeze and sometimes rupture. When very cold temperatures are expected:

  • Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.
  • Keep the indoor temperature warm.
  • Improve the circulation of heated air near pipes. For example, open kitchen cabinet doors beneath the kitchen sink.

If your pipes do freeze, do not thaw them with a torch. Instead, thaw them slowly by directing the warm air from an electric hair dryer onto the pipes. If you cannot thaw your pipes, or the pipes are ruptured, use bottled water or get water from a neighbor’s home. As an emergency measure—if no other water is available—snow can be melted for water. Bringing water to a rolling boil for one minute will kill most microorganisms or parasites that may be present, but won’t remove chemical pollutants sometimes found in snow.

Home Emergency Supplies List:

  • an alternate way to heat your home during a power failure:
    • dry firewood for a fireplace or wood stove, or
    • kerosene for a kerosene heater
  • furnace fuel (coal, propane, or oil)
  • electric space heater with automatic shut-off switch and non-glowing elements
  • blankets
  • matches
  • Food that needs no cooking or refrigeration, such as bread, crackers, cereal, canned foods, and dried fruits. Remember baby food and formula if you have young children.
  • Water stored in clean containers, or purchased bottled water (5 gallons per person).
  • Medicines that any family member may need.
  • multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher
  • first aid kit and instruction manual
  • flashlight or battery-powered lantern
  • battery-powered radio
  • battery-powered clock or watch
  • extra batteries
  • non-electric can opener
  • snow shovel
  • rock salt
  • special needs items (diapers, hearing aid batteries, medications, etc.)

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