As Knoxville awaits single digits, here's how to be prepared

By: Courtney Elledge Email
By: Courtney Elledge Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Southerners just aren't as prepared for the sort of cold this weekend will usher in.

The first thing you can do is prepare your home.

If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney or flue inspected each year. Ask your local fire department to recommend an inspector or find one in the yellow pages of your telephone directory under "chimney cleaning."

Also, if you’ll be using a fireplace, wood stove, or kerosene heater, install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated. Test them monthly and replace batteries twice a year. All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside.

Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze. To the extent possible, weatherproof your home by adding weather-stripping, insulation, insulated doors, and storm windows or thermal-pane windows.

If you have pets, bring them indoors. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they have access to unfrozen water.

Prepare Your Car for Winter:
Have maintenance service on your vehicle as often as the manufacturer recommends. In addition, every fall, do the following:

Have the radiator system serviced or check the antifreeze level yourself with an antifreeze tester. Add antifreeze as needed.

Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.

Replace any worn tires, make sure the tires have adequate tread, and check the air pressure in the tires.

During winter, keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

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