North Carolina

Preparing for Winter Weather in Charlotte

Winter Storm – January 2022

Haley Bowen | January 13, 2022

10 Tips to Prepare for a Winter Storm in Charlotte, North Carolina

Mild winters are one of the perks of living in the South but winter weather can make an appearance, causing havoc in grocery stores and roads in the Carolinas. 

 

When winter weather sweeps through the Carolinas, power outages, downed trees, and icy roads can lead to hazardous conditions and a shutdown of major services from grocery stores to gas stations. With just over 30 snow plow trucks and 1,200 miles of roadways to cover in the Charlotte area, removal can be slow going. 

 

Before rushing to the grocery store for bread and milk, here’s 10 things you can do to prepare your home for a winter storm in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

1. Follow Brad Panovich's Winter Storm Vlog

Brad Panovich, Chief Meteorologist at WCNC-NBC, becomes a household name when winter weather comes around. He’s known as the most reliable resource for weather in the Charlotte area. Panovich records daily vlogs and uses social media to get the word out to those that don’t have television. Follow Brad on Facebook HERE. 

2. Stock up on Non-Perishables and Water

Officials recommend stocking up on at least 3 days of food and water for your household. Fill up a few milk jugs with water and don’t forget to stock enough for your pets!

3. Purchase Ice Melt and Check Your Tools

Locate your snow shovels and ice scrapers. Ice melt salt goes quickly when winter weather comes around. If you find that this is sold out, non-clumping cat litter can often do the trick to make sidewalks and steps less slippery. 

4. Check Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

The risk of fire becomes much larger during winter weather. To prepare for a power outage, be sure to replace any non-battery operated detectors with battery operated versions. Replace old batteries to ensure these last through the storm. 

5. Seal Windows and Doors

Pick up some caulk and weather-stripping to seal your windows and doors. This will lower your energy bills and postpone heat loss in the case of a power outage. At night, close your blinds and cover your windows with heavy drapes to keep the room warmer for longer. 

6. Prevent Pipes from Freezing

Burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during cold weather and can cause thousands in water damage. Pipes can freeze and burst in as little as 4 hours in freezing temps. This risk becomes even greater if the power goes out. Pipes in unheated areas (basements, crawlspaces, attics) or against exterior walls are more susceptible to freezing. To prevent frozen pipes, let cold water drip from faucets and use pipe insulation to insulate any vulnerable pipes.

7. Trim Trees

When ice or snow coats trees branches, the added weight can cause branches to break and fall. Trim any trees that could fall on your home, fence, car, or power lines. Bradford Pear trees, a common tree species in North Carolina, are very susceptible to breakage due to their weak, heavy branching. If you have an older Bradford Pear (20+ years), removal may be necessary to prevent property damage. 

8. Prepare Your Car​

If fuel is left low, the gas in your car can freeze, leaving you stranded. Be sure to fill up and check your antifreeze prior to winter weather. In the case of a power outage, your car can keep you warm and your phone charged. Don’t forget to find your car charger or purchase one if necessary. 

9. Supply Older Friends and Family With Thermometer​

The ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age and older adults are more susceptible to health problems caused by cold. If you are over the age of 65 or have friends/family over 65, purchase an easy-to-read thermometer to keep just in case the power goes out. If you have a battery operated thermostat, be sure to replace the batteries. 

10. Stay Safe!​

If possible, stay home and off the roads until conditions improve. Spend the day building a snowman, not on the side of the road calling your insurance company after an icy fender bender. Have a safe and fun Snow Day!

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