Winter storms and extreme cold weather should be taken seriously as they have the potential to cause human injury and severe property damage.
Most importantly, be sure to follow instructions and guidelines provided by your local, city, state and county agencies. The following websites are good resources to monitor warnings and storm news, and offer winter storm safety checklists: NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, Ready.gov, and American Red Cross.
For your convenience, here are some precautionary steps that will help keep you and your home safe.
Life Saving Tips
- Prepare an emergency kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency.
- Bring pets inside.
- Stay indoors and drive only if necessary.
- Eat regularly. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.
- Avoid dehydration. Drink liquids like warm broth or juice. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which hastens the effects of cold on the body and accelerates symptoms of hypothermia.
- If you must go outside wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothes. Wear a hat, mittens or gloves, and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss.
- Keep dry. Change wet clothes frequently.
- Take frequent breaks from the cold. Get out of the cold immediately if signs of hypothermia or frostbite appear.
- If your home loses power for more than a few hours, or you do not have adequate supplies, you can find the nearest shelter by texting: SHELTER + your zip code to 4FEMA.
Avoid Frozen Pipes
- Turn off the home’s water to the outside spigot. If there is no shut off from the inside, nor exposed pipes in the garage, then keep water dripping slowly from the outside spigot.
- Know how to turn off your home’s main water line in case a pipe bursts and you need to shut off the water.
- Keep your thermostat set at 50 degrees or higher.
- Open cabinets or closet doors along exterior walls that contain water pipes.
- Keep water moving through pipes by allowing water to drip slowly from all faucets.
Have Alternate Heat Source
- Have available extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter clothes.
- If your home has a fireplace, store plenty of dry firewood.
- For electric space heaters, use one with an automatic shut-off and non-glowing elements. Keep all heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and drapes.
- If you use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device, keep it outside and at least 20 feet from doors, windows and vents. Never use these devices inside the home, garage, basement or any partially enclosed area.
- Make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors, preferably located in central locations on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas.
- Have working fire extinguishers.
- Conserve fuel. Winter storms can last for days. Lower thermostat to 65 degrees during the day and to 55 degrees at night. Close off unused rooms, stuff towels in cracks under doors, cover windows at night.
- Covering windows in plastic from inside will help further insulate your home.
- Spread sand, kitty litter or rock salt on walkways for better traction.
- Know where the manual release lever for your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it in the event of a power outage.
- Keep your cell phone fully charged and have an emergency charging option (car, solar, hand crank) in case of a power failure.
Post-Storm: Report Any Damage or Concerns
Tricon Residential asks that you notify your maintenance team as soon as possible when there is damage of any kind to the home. Submit a maintenance service request by calling our customer service center at 855 676 1680 or go online to our resident portal. Also be sure to report any damage to your property to your Renters Insurance Company.
If you experience any issues with your home’s utilities, contact your utilities services company directly.
Our highest priority is the safety of you and your family. Please take storm warnings seriously and prepare. Should you have any further questions, call our dedicated resident services center at 855 676 1680.
Please note: during extreme cold it is not unusual for a home’s furnace to run continually or the thermostat to read “Emergency Heat”, as it is trying to keep the temperature stable.