Winter weather advisories active across High Plains: How to prepare for the cold

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Winter weather advisories have taken effect across the High Plains as the end of 2021 comes into view. With precipitation such as freezing rain and snow expected throughout the weekend, preparations for celebrating New Year’s Eve might be best paired with preparation for the incoming weather.

The CDC hosts a resource for disaster preparation that includes multiple checklists families can work through, in an effort to ensure no community is caught off-guard in the face of critical conditions.

“Make a Plan”

The CDC recommends that each family create a plan for communication and resources during disaster situations.

“Prepare Your Home and Car”

  • Weatherproof your home.
    • Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze.
    • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
    • Insulate walls and attic.
    • Install storm or thermal-pane windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
    • Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.
  • Inspect your chimney or flue.
  • Install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector.
    • If you’ll be using a fireplace, wood stove, or kerosene heater, install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated. Test them monthly and replace batteries twice a year.
    • Keep a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher nearby.
    • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside.
    • Each winter season, have your furnace system and vent checked by a qualified technician to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • For older adults – keep an easily read thermometer at home.
    • If you or a loved one are over 65 years old, place an easy-to-read thermometer in an indoor location where you will see it frequently. Our ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age. Older adults are more susceptible to health problems caused by cold. Check the temperature of your home often during the winter months.
  • Create an emergency car kit.
    • Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries
    • Items to stay warm such as extra hats, coats, mittens, and blankets
    • Windshield scraper
    • Shovel
    • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
    • Flashlight with extra batteries
    • Water and snack food
    • First aid kit with any necessary medications and a pocket knife
    • Tow chains or rope
    • Tire chains
    • Canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair
    • Cat litter or sand to help tires get traction, or road salt to melt ice
    • Booster cables with fully charged battery or jumper cables
    • Hazard or other reflectors
    • Bright colored flag or help signs, emergency distress flag, and/or emergency flares
    • Road maps
    • Waterproof matches and a can to melt snow for water

Before a Storm Strikes

  • Listen to weather forecasts, and check your supplies.
    • Listen to weather forecasts regularly and check your emergency supplies, including your emergency food and water supply, whenever you are expecting a winter storm or extreme cold. Even though we can’t always predict extreme cold in advance, weather forecasts can sometimes give you several days of notice to prepare.
  • Bring your pets indoors.
    • If you have pets, bring them indoors. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they have access to unfrozen water.
  • Make sure your car is ready.
    • Have maintenance service on your vehicle as often as the manufacturer recommends. In addition, every fall, do the following:
      • Have the radiator system serviced or check the antifreeze level yourself with an antifreeze tester. Add antifreeze as needed.
      • Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
      • Make sure the tires on your car have adequate tread and air pressure. Replace any worn tires and fill low tires with air to the proper pressure recommended for your car (typically between 30-35 psi).
      • Keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
      • Keep your car in good working order. Be sure to check the following: heater, defroster, brakes, brake fluid, ignition, emergency flashers, exhaust, oil, and battery.

The most up-to-date weather coverage, from daily forecasts to severe storm tracking, can be found at MyHighPlains.com.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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