OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The KFOR 4Warn Storm Team is predicting freezing temperatures. Here is how you can prepare for the chilly weather.
Protect your pipes from freezing:
- Remove hoses and cover outdoor faucets.
- Turn sprinkler system to manual or shut it off completely. Remember to not schedule sprinklers to run in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate underneath and keep pipes warm.
- Turn on faucets along an exterior house walls and let them drip steadily, or keep stream of water no wider than a pencil lead.
- If your home has a basement or crawlspace, cover exposed water pipes to insulate them. This can also help prevent water waste by keeping water in the pipes warm.
If you notice your pipes are frozen, shut off water to your home by using your main shut off valve. Then, allow your pipes to thaw.
Use caulk around windows and doors to prevent the frigid temperatures from entering your home.
Protect your car:
- Battery: Remove any corrosion from posts and cable connections. Clean all surfaces with battery terminal cleaner or a baking water and water mixture. Make sure to have your battery checked by a professional to ensure it can withstand the cold weather. A batteries usual lifespan is 3-5 years, but can fail without warning. AAA Car Care, Insurance and Travel Centers in Northwest Oklahoma City and Edmond provide free battery checks.
- Tires: Check your tires for uneven wearing, tread depth, and cupping. Also, check your tire pressure once a month before driving when tires are exposed to the cold.
- Engine: Have your engine checked at a reliable repair shop. Issues like hard starts, rough idling, stalling or lack of power could be caused by frigid temperatures. Engine hoses should also be looked at for wear or cracking.
- Fluids: System fluids such as engine coolant, antifreeze, transmission or brake fluid should be monitored and changed as recommended.
- Exhaust: It may be a good idea to have a mechanic look at the exhaust system for leaks or holes in the trunk or floorboards.
- Brakes: Have your brakes inspected per your owner’s manual, or sooner if you’re experiencing issues like pulsations, pulling, noises while using the brake or longer stopping distance. Correct minor brake problems as soon as possible.
- Windshield Wipers: Replace overused blades. Purchase “winter” blades or one-piece beam-type or rubber-clad blades to protect your windshield from snow and ice build-up. Use cold-weather windshield washer solvent and carry an ice-scraper.
- Lights: Check all lights and bulbs. Replace all burnt-out bulbs and clean grime and clouding from all lenses.
Car owners should refer to the owner’s manual for maintenance requirements from the car’s manufacturer. Each automaker has different requirements, making the owner’s manual the most accurate resource.
As temperatures drop, it is also a good idea to create an emergency kit to keep in your vehicle.
The kit should include:
- Mobile phone or navigation system with emergency contacts as well as a car charger
- Drinking water
- First-aid kit
- Non-perishable snacks (including treats/food for pets)
- Bag of salt, sand, cat litter or any other abrasive material. Traction mats may also be helpful
- Snow shovel
- Extra coats, gloves, hats, or scarves
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Window washer solvent
- Ice scraper and brush
- Cloth or paper towel rolls
- Jumper cables
- Warning devices such as flares or triangles
- Basic toolkit