Preparing your home and car for snow storm

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 12/24/2012 6:46 pm Published: 12/24/2012 6:28 pm

In the Tulsa area, those who like snow can only dream of a white Christmas. It's only happened five to ten time in the past 100 years, but it's looking like this will be another on the short list.

While most Tulsans have dealt with snow before, Monday was still a good time to make sure people were prepared for the Christmas day snow storm.

Since forecasts look like sleet and ice will start developing early Tuesday morning, it's important to make sure you have an ice scraper handy if you plan to go somewhere for Christmas dinner.

And since most of the snow will come while most people are eating their Christmas feast, it's also a good idea to prepare your home ahead of time so things are in order when you get home from being with the family.

"[We are] expecting an extended freeze of probably 72 hours or more, which will freeze pipes regardless of their insulation," Ben Bangs, service technician at Roto-Rooter, said. "So, we need to take some precautionary steps."

The holidays are always the busy season for plumbers like Bangs, not just because of all the clogs those big meals can cause in the kitchen.

"Unhook the hose from the [faucet] on the house, because those can allow water to get in and expand and break in the wall, and now we've got a flood," Bangs said. "Even just a small crack can allow 250 gallons of water in a day. That could d some serious damage to a home."

"It can be catastrophic, especially if you get in a home with wood floors."

If your home has a raised foundation, make sure all the vents are closed to keep the colder air from getting under your house.

Inside, make sure you leave all your faucets slightly running, just enough to keep the water moving in those pipes so it won't freeze. And make sure your cabinet doors are left open so that warmer air is able to circulate around the pipes.

Another thing to keep in mind if you have outdoor pets, is making sure they have some shelter to escape the snow and extreme cold. If you don't have a doghouse outside with blankets inside and you don't want to let the dog inside, the best thing you can do is to leave them in the garage so they can stay warm and safe.

Also, make sure you leave more than enough food and water in case the snow keeps you from making it home for awhile.

It's a good idea to keep an emergency bag inside your car in case you have trouble driving home in the snow. In the emergency bag, you should include a first aid kit, bottled water and snacks, blankets and extra gloves, snow boots in case you have to walk to get help, and a flashlight with fresh batteries.

A bag of cat litter can also be handy if your car gets stuck on a patch of ice. Just pour the litter around your tires to create more friction to help get your car unstuck.

Also, it's a good idea to leave a snow shovel and ice melt out in the driveway or front walk for when you get home. That way you can clear the way for your family to get inside safely.

Bangs says planning ahead and taking precautionary steps can go a long way toward avoiding issues.

"Out of sight, out of mind is dangerous, because you need to address a problem before it becomes a problem," he said.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 12/25/2012 9:38 AM
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Close the door turn up the stove and add a dog. Looks like a three dog night #8^]]
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