Preventing Burst Pipes, and Other Topics in Freezing Weather

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The Home Improvement Reference Center has advice on how to prevent frozen pipes, and what to do if they do freeze. When there is “imminent danger of freezing,” they advise turning at-risk faucets on – remember that running water, even a slow trickle, is less likely to freeze. An increase in the water bill may be preferable to a burst pipe.  

For emergency and disaster preparedness, FEMA has advice on what to do before, during, and after extreme cold, including what to do if you are trapped in your car. If you lose power, come to the library, or another public shelter, and stay out of the cold. To locate the nearest shelter, FEMA advises that can find one via text: send “ SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 ( 4FEMA ) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).”

If you have to drive, the National Weather Service warns that black ice is a distinct possibility, as normal road treatments against ice may not be effective in extreme cold.

If your home is colder than you like, James Dulley has advice about different varieties of central heating, including corn, pellet, and wood-burning furnaces. You can also learn about insulating and sealing your home at the Home Improvement Reference Center.

As always, you can use Consumer Reports to find the best snow shovels, generators, and other winter supplies.

Remember, you'll need to enter your library card number to access the library's premium resources.