Winter and cold weather is coming. The Weather Company and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have released their 2016 winter predictions. Their outlook this year indicates that La Niña will be a factor which could result in more precipitation in the northern states, and less in the South. Colder than average temperatures are expected early on within the Eastern regions of the US, but overall, this winter may end up warmer than usual.
Regardless of predictions, you should always have an emergency response plan prepared for situations when the harsh winter weather is approaching. Unexpected winter storms could result in surprise power outages, electrical fires and fire damage. Make sure the batteries in your smoke detectors are replaced and the devices are functioning correctly. Your exterior pipes should be winterized, along with hose faucets and plumbing. Pipes can freeze quickly and impact your home.
The winter can bring feet of snow, and once the snow melts, flooding can occur. Water is able to sneak its way into small, inaccessible crevices or leak in through holes within your shelter. Your valuables and cherished property are at risk which could leave you vulnerable and needing property contents restoration and repair. If water is left standing, or isn’t completely cleaned up, the opportunity for mold removal rises. Make sure that your windows and doorways are tightly sealed. Snow and rain water damage can occur through roof, windows, and doors. Clean out gutters to prevent ice damming. Ice damming is common when there is snow on the roof for a long time.
Have your furnace checked and serviced by your HVAC contractor and check your chimney flues. Have them inspected and cleaned by a chimney expert.
When you are preparing for winter, don’t forget you are not the only ones seeking warmth and shelter. Animals can come and nest in your home, looking for a warm place to hide. While they create homes in your basements or attics, your family could be at risk. Wild animals are not sanitary, and won’t think twice before defecating in your air ducts, walkways or storage spaces. Should an infestation occur, don’t attempt to remove the animals yourself. You’ll put yourself at risk for infections and diseases. First contact an animal or pest control service to safely remove the animals and then call Infection Control Technologies. ICT provides a comprehensive Infestation Remediation and Decontamination service. Check with your homeowners insurance, they may pay part or all of the cleanup depending on the kind of animal damage and depending on your policy coverage.
We shall see what this winter brings us.