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This is how locals can prepare for possible winter freeze

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Photo by David Day

With winter weather on the horizon, one can take advantage of warmer days to protect their home and family from a potential winter freeze.

Anyone who’s lived in Vicksburg through the winter knows that the season changes course drastically, often with very little warning. Just last week, we witnessed an extreme plummet over the span of only 24 short hours. On Jan. 1, the temperature reached a high of 86° around noon. By noon the next day, it dropped down to 30° and even surprised citizens with flurries of snow.

Unpredictable weather patterns combined with the knowledge of last year’s hazardous winter freeze beg locals to better prepare for the coming months. Last year there were power outages across the city of Vicksburg, frozen water pipes, food shortages, restricted travel abilities and, of course, a toilet paper crisis.

Here are some things you can do now to start readying for a potential repeat of last year’s unexpected winter storm:

Weather proof windows with window insulation film.

Window insulation film will help reflect heat back inside the home, allowing it to stay in the room rather than letting it escape. It will also help hinder the cold conditions outside from invading your home.  Doing this can drastically cut utility costs.

Clear gutters.

Having clogged gutters during the winter can cause water which may be trapped by debris to freeze and possibly damage your gutter system and even your home. It helps to ensure your gutters are clean before freezing temperatures make their way into the area.

Reasonably stock up on dry essentials, preservable food that doesn’t need cooking, water and paper products.

In the event of a power outage and other weather related conditions, it is wise to have a plan so you and your family can still eat. Stocking up the pantry with items that do not need to be cooked can help ensure your body is still receiving the nutrients it needs.

Invest in a cordless space heater and flashlights.

It is no surprise that inclement weather brings unsafe conditions. Heat is an essential need that should not be compromised. If a tree falls on a line, or a vehicle crash takes out a pole, it could be hours or days before services can be restored. Having a backup plan for heat and light could make all the difference.

Wrap water pipes with automatic heat tape.

Wrapping your home’s pipes can help avoid damage and ensure your water source stays flowing during the cold weather. As temperatures fall below freezing, water left in pipes will expand and can cause cracks. This can lead to very expensive repair and water bills if not resolved right away.

Most importantly, set up a course of action, such as deciding where to go if another destination provides more safety. Communities are always stronger when working together.

Taking steps now to be prepared can prevent shortages and panic, should the weather take another tumultuous turn. By taking advantage of good weather, you can brace the cold. Winter temperatures can rise or drop in the blink of an eye, so being aware and acting ahead will be the key to safety in the coming months.

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Vicksburg Daily News