Protect Home, Family In The Cold

HUDSON VALLEY, NY — You might have thought you’d winterized your home, but when it gets this cold, there might be more to do to protect yourself and your belongings.

The folks at SUEZ have tips for whistles.

“With cold air forecast to be approaching our area, which we have not seen for a couple of years and for the remainder of the winter, it is critical to take action to prevent water meters, pipes, plumbing and equipment from freezing said Chris Graziano, SUEZ Vice President and General Manager.

  • When your pipes freeze, it’s important to unclog them as soon as possible to minimize damage. It may be best to call a licensed plumber.
  • If a water line has burst, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve in the house.
  • Open a nearby faucet slightly to allow the pipe to drain as it thaws.
  • Do not use electrical devices in areas with standing water.
  • Never use hot water or a blowtorch on a frozen pipe or water meter.

The Red Cross offers further tips:

At home

  • If you’ve already caulked and caulked doors and sills: Next, try covering the coldest windows with plastic from the inside to provide an extra layer of insulation.
  • Set the thermostat to the same temperature day and night. By temporarily suspending use of lower nighttime temperatures, you can pay for a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job when pipes freeze and burst.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the ducts. (Keep all harmful cleaning products and household chemicals out of the reach of children.)
  • Make sure you have enough heating material on hand.
  • Never use a stove, oven, grill, etc. to heat your home.
  • Place space heaters on flat, hard surfaces at least one meter away from anything combustible. Never leave them unattended.
  • Portable generators pose a serious hazard if misused. They should be installed and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Never connect a generator to a wall unit, use it indoors, or place it outdoors near open windows or air vents.
  • Have emergency equipment at home – portable radio, flashlights, spare batteries, first aid kit, candles, charged electronic device chargers.
  • keep pets warm. Check your neighbors, friends and family.


  • Wear layered clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat.
  • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from severely cold air.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Stay dry. Change wet clothing frequently to avoid losing body heat. Wet clothing loses much of its insulating value and quickly wicks heat away from the body.

In the car

  • Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full so that you can drive off immediately in an emergency and the fuel line does not freeze.
  • Keep in your vehicle: An emergency kit, including warm clothing; a window scraper and a small broom. Matches in a watertight container. A brightly colored (preferably red) cloth to tie to something.

SEE: Hudson Valley Below Zero: Dangerous Outlook released

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