Photo credit: Scott Meis Photography
More snow and cold temperatures are on the way.
Take Winter By Storm, a multi-media, public awareness and safety engagement program, has some tips for preparing for severe winter weather:
· If an inlet or street drain appears to be blocked by snow or debris, try to safely clear a channel to provide a path for the runoff. If the drain cannot be cleared, or if the cause of the blockage or flooding is uncertain, call Seattle Public Utilities at (206) 386-1800.
· Protect your water pipes from freezing. Shut off outside faucets, drain the water and protect them by insulating them with foam covers.
· If you’re going to be away, or if you have renters or own a vacant property, ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent freezing — or shut off and drain the water system. Be aware that if you have a fire protection sprinkler system in your house, it will be deactivated when you shut off the water.
· Drain and remove all outdoor hoses, and shut off and drain in-ground sprinkler systems.
· Pipes in exposed or unheated areas (attics, basements and garages) should be wrapped with tape and insulating materials, available at local hardware stores.
· Property owners should check for any exposed pipes in unheated areas. That includes basements, garages, attics and crawl spaces.
· Once it drops below freezing, protect indoor sink pipes that are against exterior walls by opening under-sink cabinet doors, allowing heat to circulate. During severe cold, allow the faucet farthest from your front door to slowly drip cold water. Set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, day or night (even if you are away).
· Do not leave water running in unoccupied buildings. If the drain should plug, it could cause a flood.
· Please don’t use hair dryers to thaw frozen pipes — you face the risk of electrocution!
· If a water pipe breaks, immediately close the main shut-off valve to stop flooding. If you cannot turn off the main shut-off valve, Seattle residents can call 206-386-1800 and a crew will turn off the water at the meter for a standard service charge.
A great list of resources to stay posted on the this week’s weather is available on GeekWire, via Mónica Guzmán.