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Posted on: December 21, 2021

Pre-Winter Weather Checklist

Pre-Winter Weather Checklist

 With cooler temperatures fast approaching, we should all prepare for upcoming winter weather.

Prepare your home and family

  • Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off. For example, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
  • Winterize your house, barn, shed, or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock, or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors, or employees.
  • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavyweight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work. 

Add the following supplies to your disaster supplies kit:

  • Rock salt to melt ice on walkways
  • Sand to improve traction
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment 

Prepare your car

  • Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:
    • Antifreeze levels - ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
    • Battery and ignition system - should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
    • Brakes - check for wear and fluid levels.
    • Exhaust system - check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
    • Fuel and air filters - replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas.
    • Heater and defroster - ensure they work properly.
    • Light and flashing hazard lights - check for serviceability.
    • Oil - check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
    • Thermostat - ensure it works properly.
    • Windshield wiper equipment - repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
  • Install good winter tires. Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions.
  • Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.
  • Place a winter emergency kit in each car that includes:
    • shovel
    • windshield scraper and small broom
    • flashlight
    • battery-powered radio
    • extra batteries
    • water
    • non-perishable food
    • matches
    • extra hats, socks, and mittens
    • first aid kit with a pocket knife
    • necessary medications
    • blankets and sleeping bags
    • tow chain or rope
    • road salt and sand or cat litter
    • booster cables
    • emergency flares
    • florescent distress flag

 Dress for the weather

  • Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs. 

For more information, please contact the City of Carbondale Office of Emergency Management (COEM) at (618) 457-3245.

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