November 27, 2006: The (Texas) Cold
This message is coming weeks late for our friends to the north, and is months off for those readers on the other half of the world, but:
While Texans rarely get to experience the sort of cold our Canadian brethren are currently feeling, those who don't know how to deal with the low temperatures are in more danger from them. "Winterizing" isn't something you should do after the first freeze.
If you have a fireplace, get the chimney cleaned before you use it.
- Get your car's fluids, battery, and tires checked. There is no worse feeling than turning the key on a frosty morning, only to hear a pathetic "click" -- unless it's a flat tire in snow.
- Weather-proof your doors and windows. Sure, the cold breeze coming in under the sill is costing you money, but more importantly, it's cold!
- Dig out your cold weather gear now, so you're not tempted to "just run for it" when the real cold snap hits. Gloves and hats can make the difference between a mild sniffle and a full-fledged, stay-at-home flu.
- Check and wrap exposed water pipes. Dripping a outdoor faucet can save thousands of dollars if it prevents a pipe break.
For more tips, hit your favorite search engine, or check out the FEMA site.
And bundle up!
-- Paul Chapman