Boston.com compiled a check list to follow when preparing your home for a blizzard:
#Snowmageddon2015, #snowpocalypse, #blizzardof2015…whatever you want to call it, winter storm Juno is scheduled to hit seven states with potential blizzard conditions, leading to possible homeowner headaches like frozen pipes, power outages, and even blown-away shingles or siding.
Here are some of the things that can happen to your home in a blizzard, and ways to prepare for the worst.
1. Frozen pipes
When water freezes, it expands, and this can put a lot of pressure on your pipes. If the pressure becomes too great, your pipes can break – a messy and expensive issue.
You can sometimes figure out whether your pipes are frozen by turning on a faucet. If only a trickle of water comes out instead of a steady stream, they might be on their way to frozen. If this happens, keep your faucet on while applying heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad, portable space heater, or hair-dryer. Once the water pressure is restored, stop applying direct heat and keep your faucet on at a trickle.
Pipes most susceptible to freezing are those exposed to extreme cold, like water supply lines in unheated areas like a basement, attic, garage, or crawlspace, according to the American Red Cross.
It’s a good idea to notch up the temperature on your thermostat a little higher than you normally would. Sure your heating bill might be a higher, but you could help keep your pipes warm and avoid a far more expensive problem in the long run. And if you have a garage, make sure your garage door is closed to keep the cold air from freezing any water supply lines.
If you want to take extra precaution, consider installing products like “pipe sleeves” or “heat tape” on any exposed water pipes, which you can buy at any hardware store like Ace or Home Depot. Think of it as a little sweater for your pipes. Even a little bit of newspaper can help with insulation.
2. Power outage
The National Weather Service has said that over 28 million people may be affected by blizzard conditions from Monday evening to Tuesday night, and should be prepared for potential power outages during the storm and in the days following. With up to 30’’ of snow predicted for some areas of New England, it’s quite likely that downed tree limbs or strong winds could cause you to lose electricity. National Grid has said that many of its New England cutomers—where it serves 7 million—could lose power.
Other than making sure trees near power lines are well trimmed, there isn’t a whole lot you can get your energy service provider to do before a blizzard.
If you do lose power, there are some steps you can take to stay safe (and sane.)
Turn your refrigerator to its coldest settings to preserve your perishable foods. Try not to open your refrigerator and freezer doors much to keep in the cold air, and eat your perishable food first if you think the storm might be a lengthy one. So even though it might be tempting to dive into the potato chips, it’s a smarter move to go for the fruit, milk, and vegetables.
If you’re using a generator, make sure you aren’t running it from your garage or inside your home, because they can produce deadly carbon monoxide fumes. Only run it from an open, ventilated space. And connect your appliances directly to the generator, not to your home wiring, or you could create a dangerous “back feed” into utility lines that could kill someone trying to get the power back on.
Stocking up on flashlights and batteries can provide you with some much-needed light. Without TV and Internet, you might as well get around to finishing Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom.”
Finally, power surges become more common during a power outage, and they can destroy your appliances, according to AccuWeather. A good way to prevent this is to unplug all your appliances except one light (so you know when power is restored).
3. Blown-away shingles, siding, and/or outdoor furniture
Winter storm Juno is predicted to have wind gusts up to 50 mph in some areas. This could potentially lead to shingles or siding blowing off your house. Damaged roofs and siding should be repaired by roofing and siding services immediately after the storm has blown over to prevent leaks.
Bring any outside furniture indoors so it doesn’t blow away.
To view the full list, click here.