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10

Lightning strikes can cause damage to many items in a house. The most suspectable items are GFI outlets, any electronic machines ( TV, computers, audio equipment etc.), dimmers, switches and elements of an electric range/oven, and yes, garage door openers. Another area to check is to unplug any device plugged into a receptacle and inspect the metal plug ...


10

A short freeze should not be a big deal for your area. I just bought some of the spigot covers for mine. I live in Virginia and have a bit colder temps than you do. Normally we have no problems with our area either. I just covered them to make sure.


9

Smaller panels are one way to go; see this article Hail Damage and your Solar Panels: If you decide to install photovoltaic modules and worry about hail damage, there are a couple of things to consider. One of the most important concerns the size of the modules. If the region you live in is subject to frequent or serious hail storms, ...


8

For rare freezes, you can turn on the faucet slightly, to drip a little. This will keep fresh warmer water coming in, and reduce the chance of freezing. If your house has a crawlspace with the plumbing, those pipes are potentially susceptible to freezing, too. This trick helps there, as well. Obviously, this is a waste of water if you have to do it more ...


8

In colder climates at least, the norm is to have either shutoffs, or frost-proof sillcocks. A shutoff is simply a valve on the inside of the house. You close it off, then open the outside tap, and the water drains out of the pipe in the wall. A frost-proof sillcock (pictured below) is a tap with a very long stem, so the shutoff is actually at the base ...


7

Here are a few tips that I haven't seen shared yet... Food: When a storm is approaching you know may cut out power then turn your freezer down to as cold as it will go and the refrigerator down as far as it will go without freezing items. (Test before storms and mark the indicator, so you know the setting. Also mark the 'normal' settings.) Put the items ...


6

There's a few considerations based on the time of year -- when it's cold enough outside, saving the stuff in your fridge isn't as big a deal, as you can just put it outside (although, you might need to pack it in some critter-proof containers). Good insulation can help in the colder months; Good tree planting and possibly some awnings on the windows or a ...


5

For these with well water, the list is bigger than most. Something that we do is we have about 10 of those big pretzel plastic containers filled with water saved. If something is coming, we usually fill the bathtubs with water as well. Both are not used for eating / drinking / bathing, but to flush the toilets.


4

Buy candles, flashlight and batteries. If you have a fireplace buy logs. You could also buy or rent a generator.


4

The preparation seems to be covered fairly well by others, but for the 2nd part of the question, you want to make sure that you're ready for the power to come back on. I used to live in an area with frequent blackouts, and often when the power first came back on it would be a bit unstable, with brownouts and frequent on/off cycles. Any electronic devices ...


4

The bursting is actually caused by the ice. Ice takes up more room than the amount of water it was made from, ultimately bursting through copper. If you had a trickle of water, you may have been better off leaving the taps all open in hopes of keeping the water flowing. Flowing water (even a trickle) is less likely to freeze than standing water. One of the ...


3

I live in Alaska. Relax, your pipes aren't going to burst due to 20 degree weather, even if your house wasn't plumbed with cold weather in mind. You don't need to take any preemptive steps beyond turning the main back on and keeping your tap set to "trickle". That's it, wait it out. It'll be fine. Trust me on this one, I know of frozen pipes.


3

Use an oil based paint, not latex. You have to coat the entire thing, including the bottom. This will help repel water.


3

Put your power company's phone number into your cellphone or write it on the refrigerator.


3

Make sure you know where your flashlight is (keep it in a single location) and that the batteries are good. I have stubbed my toes (or bruised my knee/shin) many times fumbling around in the dark for the last place my flashlight was put.


3

Chemical glow sticks are great for emergency lighting, and have a decent shelf life. One in a central area on each floor of a house can provide enough light to move around without banging into stuff. One just over your shoulder is enough light to read by. Unlike candles, they are safe around kids, too, and aren't a problem when sleeping.


2

Practice living without connected utilities. Do it periodically. You will discover what your real needs are and you'll learn how to meet them in an emergency. How much water do you really need? Do MREs make you sick? Do you know how use your fireplace? Are the batteries in your flashlight still good? Answer these questions by practicing. Remember that ...


2

One thing I do when the power flickers is to shutoff the HVAC system. Frequent power cycles can be bad for compressors. And while the gas furnace should be fine, I don't want to risk any carbon monoxide poisoning. I'd also do this for my fridge if it was easy for me to access. Just make sure to turn them back on when it looks like power is going to stay on.


2

Honestly, your best bet may be to re-build the structure using an exterior grade plywood. Whatever solution you come up with to "weatherize" the MDF will only be temporary. Soon enough, there will be some damage done to the protective coating that you apply, and then when the next storm comes by you will have a soggy pile of sawdust instead of a shed. Do ...


2

The best approach is to check anything electrical that was connected to cables in your house- either power or communication- as lightning can find its way along any wire. A visual check may show scorch marks or blown components, especially in electronic circuits, but you'd be better off checking every power supply, every appliance and every power socket ...


2

If you have a trickle, you want to let it trickle. More than "being less likely to freeze", in the situation you describe it will very likely melt through the plug. Ground water is generally 50 degrees or so, and municipal water, while often cooler in winter, is at least something above freezing, so any flow of water will gradually melt out the ice. For the ...


2

Here in Alberta this turns out to be a non-problem. What tends to happen is that the snow slides off the roof, stacks against the house. Within a day or so, heat from house melts a finger sized crevasse and the snow is no longer touching the house. Assuming that there is reasonable siding on the house this is a non-worry item IMHO. If however, the ground ...


2

I am in Portland too. Tonight is expected to be cold again, perhaps even colder. (I observed 6 °F at about 03:00 Sunday morning, elevation 300 ft.) I think turning the water off is not an optimal decision. It would be better to have water flowing through the pipes, especially where they are exposed to low temperature. City water and most of the ...


1

Turn the main back on. The trickle was good. Open all your taps to a trickle. Run a moderate stream of hot water to the nearest hot tap to the bathroom. Run a hair dryer on the pipes in the bathroom. Your hope is the trickle turns into a torrent sooner rather than later. A trickle is enough to prevent freezing, and might be enough to melt the ice plug ...


1

First, as others have pointed out, a trickle is good. It means the pipes aren't frozen solid. Second, the pressure has nothing to do with the pipes splitting. The expansion of water as it freezes causes the pipes to split. Once they're frozen all you can do is cross your fingers as they thaw. Third, if you have copper pipes you may get by with having them ...


1

Google Hydraulic cement (HC), you should be able to purchase 5 lbs or so for less than $20. Tools needed: 2Q bucket (dont expect to be able to clean it 100%), margin trowel (for mixing and scooping), 3" putty knife, rubber gloves, paint scraping implements (goggles, if you use a wire wheel) Remove as much of the paint as possible, especially in the bowl ...


1

Just think about emergency lighting. Do you have to light up the whole house or just what is in front of you. The most versatile and economical solution is to use an LED head light. You can get them at most sporting goods stores. You will look like a couple of miners walking around in the dark, but it is very practical. You will get many hours on a few ...


1

Clad the sides in treated Feather-edge boards and cover the top in roofing felt. Raise it off the ground to prevent it from standing in water and soaking it up from underneath. I suggest getting a few concrete slabs and putting it on top of them, making sure that the edge of the shed (cladding) sticks out over the edge of slabs a little to prevent rain ...


1

Exterior primer, followed by exterior latex (water based) paint would be way better than leaving it alone, it might even improve its appearances.


1

chicken wire, mounted mounted high and secured on four sides to keep it from bending and touching the glass. This will cut efficiency by a few percent.



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