Experts offer tips for preparing homes ahead of winter storm - KPTV - FOX 12

Experts offer tips for preparing homes ahead of winter storm

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

As agencies across the city get ready for this weekend’s coming winter storm, many homeowners may be asking what they should be doing to prepare.

FOX 12 spoke with local experts to compile a list of tips for residents to safely get through the storm if they end up stuck at home for a few days.

Most of the concerns for someone at home comes down to the pipes. Any outdoor spigots will need to be insulated.

For pipes on the inside of a house, it may not be enough to just leave the faucets dripping, so experts recommend a small but steady stream of water to keep pipes from freezing.

Since a home is probably many people’s biggest investment, experts like Dave Charvet from George Morlan Plumbing say homeowners need to start getting ready now with another winter storm on the way.

“Spend a few more dollars, maybe and turn up the heat a little bit in the house,” Charvet advised. “It’ll cost you a few more dollars now, but it’s better than spending thousands of dollars on broken pipes later on.”

He also said people should open cabinets to help warm up pipes.

If pipes do burst, homeowners will need to know how to shut the water off to their house. The valve is usually in the garage, on the side of the house or at the meter.

“A lot of people won’t know until next week when it warms up, and then when it warms up you’ll hear water running when no faucets are on,” Charvet said. “And then you’ll know you have a broken pipe and that’s not good.”

In case people are stuck at home for a while, they will need to pack an emergency kit. Steve Eberlein with the American Red Cross tells people to stock up on food and water to last at least three days and warns to not forget a first-aid kit.

“Some of the top things I’m worried about – make sure you have a blanket, make sure you have things like hot hands to give yourself some comfort,” he said.

Eberlein warned that in this winter storm that for anyone who loses power, the real challenge will be staying warm. He also notes that people will want to make sure they have their cell phone charged in case they lose power and need to call for help or check on weather conditions.

He also suggested downloading the free Emergency app from the Red Cross, which can help keep you connected to loved ones during severe weather events.

“When you want to let your entire social network know that you’re okay, you hit the Family Safe button and it sends the simple message to anyone that you might have on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn, ‘I’m safe,’” Eberlein explained. “And in many cases, that’s all people really need to know if they haven’t heard from you in a long time.”

The Red Cross advises that it’s a good idea to start gathering up some canned goods and other items just in case the power goes out and fresh items in refrigerators become spoiled.

To see more items on their emergency preparedness list, visit RedCross.org.

For the latest weather forecast from the FOX 12 Weather team, as well as the latest traffic updates and closings information, download our free FOX 12 Weather App for iPhone and for Android

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