State Farm Offers Tips to Va. Drivers, Homeowners for Winter Conditions

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Press Release from State Farm:

Are you prepped for winter weather? State Farm is encouraging Virginia drivers and homeowners to be prepared. Drivers are encouraged to take the junk out of their trunk and replace it with a list of items you might need in case of a roadside emergency during the winter, and homeowners are encouraged to take a few simple steps to protect their homes against frozen pipes.

"Even on a relatively short trip, you may find yourself stranded for several hours when the unexpected happens. Whether it’s a dead battery, flat tire, empty fuel tank, or treacherous road conditions, it's important to be prepared - particularly if you're traveling on unfamiliar roads or cold temperatures," said Virginia State Farm spokesperson Michal Brower.

Get rid of the junk, and pack your trunk with these important emergency roadside items:

  • Hazard triangle (with reflectors) or road flares
  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Spare tire
  • Blankets and extra warm clothing
  • Cell phone and charger
  • High-calorie, non-perishable food
  • Water
  • Road salt or cat litter to help with tire traction
  • Brightly colored distress sign or "Help" or "Call Police" flag
  • Candle/matches, lighter, and/or flashlight
  • Tarp for sitting or kneeling in the snow for exterior work like a tire change

“It's also important to remember dangerously cold temperatures pose hazards to property owners,” Brower said. “When the outside temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, water pipes in homes with little or no insulation are likely to freeze and break. A one-eighth inch crack in a pipe can spew out more than 250 gallons of water a day, destroying floors, soaking furniture, and ruining personal items.”

To protect your home against frozen pipes, ice dams, and other water-related losses:

  • Insulate exposed water pipes, such as those in crawl spaces or that run along outside walls, floors and ceilings.
  • Use heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables to wrap pipes.
  • Seal cracks and gaps which could bring in cold air with insulation or caulk. Check around dryer venting, electrical wiring, doors, and windows nearest to exposed pipes.
  • Disconnect exterior water hoses and drain pipes leading outdoors. If possible, use an indoor water shutoff valve to ensure water service to exterior locations is disconnected.
  • Keep your thermostat set above 55 degrees, especially if you will be away from your house for an extended period. Ask someone you trust to monitor your house daily to prevent freezing.

As always, please reach out if I can help with further information or arrange an interview with a local agent.