Certain natural weather events grab the public’s attention.
People understand the power and scope of a devastating hurricane and that it must be prepared for.
But here’s how to prepare for another natural threat that’s often underestimated.
One weather event that people underestimate is the cold.
On average, over 1,300 people die each year in the United States due to hypothermia.
The Survival Rule of Three states that you can survive three minutes without air, three hours without shelter in adverse conditions, three days without water, and three weeks without food.
Being exposed to the extreme cold for three hours, and even less, will put your life at serious risk.
But having improper shelter can be just as dangerous.
In parts of the country, temperatures can drop 50 degrees below zero with wind chill, so being prepared for the extreme cold is an absolute necessity.
Here are some tips to make sure your home and bug-out location are in proper order.
First, make sure your ventilation system is well-maintained.
In spring, summer, and milder fall climates this isn’t as much of an issue because it’s common practice to open windows and doors.
However, that’s not wise in the winter, so having proper ventilation to protect from poor air quality is essential.
Be sure that your HVAC unit is in good order.
The last thing you want is your unit breaking down at the most inopportune time.
Check your air filters and clean your vents.
Next, make sure your home has proper insulation.
It’s particularly important to focus on higher areas such as the attic because 25% of heat inside the home is lost through your roof.
Good insulation means your heating unit won’t have to work as hard, which will save money and keep your unit from being overextended.
Sealing your doorways and windows to make sure heat isn’t seeping out is another important strategy for addressing insulation.
Pipe insulation is a great way to make sure they don’t freeze too.
Frozen pipes in frigid conditions are some of the most common forms of property damage and can easily cost you thousands of dollars.
The temperature threshold for being concerned about pipes starts at around 20ºF.
You can let cold water drip slowly from the faucet to help prevent pipes from freezing.
Leaving kitchen and bathroom cabinets open can also help fight the freezing of uninsulated pipes because it keeps warm air circulating around the pipes.
Also, it’s good to keep your house at a consistent temperature throughout the day, even at night when everyone has gone to sleep.
The constant temperature will keep the house from getting excessively cold at night, which can put undue stress on your HVAC unit.
Finally, make sure you’re stocked up on supplies.
Limit trips to the grocery store and other errands because driving on icy roads or during snowfall with limited visibility invites unnecessary risks.
If you follow these guidelines and stay vigilant about keeping your house warm, you can survive a harsh winter unscathed.