[Photo by Flickr user Mr. T in DC]
By now, everyone knows that the polar vortex is paying a visit and it's going to reach unbearably low temperatures over much of the country tonight. So, instead of panicking and buying all the toilet paper and milk in the Safeway, here are some productive tips from the likes of the Capital Weather Gang, the CDC, the D.C. Government Office and FEMA that you can do to prepare your home/condo/apartment for a night in.
· Let your faucets drip. The sound may be annoying but this will help keep the pipes from freezing and then bursting. Cleaning up the mess from a busted pipe is far more annoying. If the pipes do freeze, use a hairdryer to thaw them out.
· Along those lines, if there's a water main break, having a bathtub full of water isn't a bad idea. It might be time to clean that bathtub.
· Space heaters can be life savers but make sure they aren't set up near anything flammable. Put them at least three feet away from things like curtains or made beds.
· Candles may seem like a nice idea but it's not one of the safer ones.
· Congratulations, you live in a home with a chimney! Make sure it's clean before you start roasting those chestnuts on your open fire.
· Double congratulations, you have a generator and don't have to worry (as desperately) about potential power outages and Pepco wait times. Keep that generator twenty feet away from the house.
· Notice all these extra heat sources that are coming into play? As such, now is a good time to see if there are batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors.
· Have your windows seen better days? Can you feel the draft coming in already? Some plastic over the windows should provide some relief.
· All prepared? Then take a comfortable seat away from your windows, enjoy a movie (and hope the power doesn't go out) and make yourself some comfort food (NOT ON A GRILL!!!) and enjoy your time shut indoors.
· Coldest air in years set to grip the Nation's Capital: Protect yourself, pets, and home [WaPo]
· Winterize Your Home [FEMA]
· Extreme Weather - Cold [DC.gov]