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Winter Is Coming: How You Can Prepare
NOAA issues Winter Outlook for U.S. weather
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released the U.S. Winter Outlook, including details on precipitation, temperatures and drought. In summary, forecasters predict weather patterns “favoring cooler and wetter weather in Southern Tier states with above-average temperatures most likely in the West and across the Northern Tier.”
In addition, Deputy Director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center Mike Halpert notes, “A strong El Niño is in place and should exert a strong influence over our weather this winter.”
So how can you prepare your household for whatever winter weather is headed your way?
PREPARING FOR A WINTER STORM
Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
As you prepare for winter weather, find ways to prevent home fires and prepare your household should one occur. Our Home Fire Campaign has simple steps and tips to get started.
PREVENTING FROZEN PIPES
Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of these water supply lines and pipes by following these recommendations:
Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed.
Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain.
Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
Emergency is the one-download resource that puts vital information at your fingertips. This “all-inclusive” app combines more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts from natural to man-made, giving you real-time information to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
Users can schedule appointments, track total donations, earn rewards and invite others to join them on a lifesaving team. The Blood Donor App is a great new way to help meet the constant need for blood.
Help your child become a confident swimmer. The American Red Cross Swim app puts the 100 year old Learn to Swim program in the palm of your hand. Brush up on your water safety knowledge, play parent child games together and track your child’s progress in the class.
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Be ready for wildfires with the Wildfire App by the American Red Cross. Get the latest state-by-state wildfire news and updates, prepare your family, home and pets, let loved ones know that you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an area that is susceptible to wildfires or has loved ones that do.
Get your family and home ready for a tornado with the official Tornado App from the American Red Cross. The Tornado app puts everything you need to know prepare for a tornado – and all that comes with it – in the palm of your hand. With interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to be ready.
Get the Tornado App
First Aid App
The official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Available for iPhone and Android devices, the official American Red Cross First Aid app offers videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to know first aid.
Monitor conditions in your area or throughout the storm track, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an area where a hurricane may strike or has loved ones who do.
The Red Cross Shelter Finder is available in the iTunes store and works on iOS devices. The Shelter Finder displays open Red Cross shelters and their current population on an easy to use map interface.
Be ready for an earthquake with Earthquake by American Red Cross. Get notified when an earthquake occurs, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an earthquake-prone area or has loved ones who do.