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Winter Weather is Almost Here
Take time to get prepared

Meteorologists are predicting an ice storm coming to Oklahoma that has the potential to cause serious damage to homes and businesses. With the possibility of power outages and dangerous road conditions, it never hurts to take time to prepare yourself.  Below are some tips provided by the Red Cross and the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak to help keep you informed and prepared.  

Of course the media will say "don't travel if you don't have to", but we all know, some of us have to.  
Before you head out in your car you might want to follow the tips below:

1)  Be sure to top off your gas tank, a full tank will help prevent gas lines from freezing during the frigid temperatures.
2)  Make sure you carry an ice scraper in your vehicle and clean off all windows, headlights & tail-lights before     traveling. 
3)  Be sure to clean off large chunks of snow and ice on the roof/trunk or hood to be sure these large amounts of snow do not fly off and hit other vehicles. 
3) When traveling even short distances, dress warmly and wear appropriate shoes in case something happens and you       have to walk for help.  

Carry with you in your car; 
 A Flashlight
 A First Aid kit
 Kitty litter, sand or rock salt\can help you get traction when placed under your tires when stuck in the ice or snow. 
 A Blanket can help you stay warm  in case you get stranded and help cannot get to you.
 Bottled water & snack food in case you get off the main roadway and are stranded. 
 Be sure your cell phone is charged so you can make an emergency call if needed.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I), damage from snow, ice and freezing temperatures causes more than a billion dollars in insurance losses in the United States every year. 
The I.I.I offers the following tips to prepare you home for the upcoming winter weather:

Outside your home

  • Clean out gutters. Remove leaves, sticks and other debris from gutters so melting snow and ice can flow freely. This can prevent ice damming, a condition where water is unable to drain through the gutters and instead seeps into the house, causing water to drip from the ceiling and walls.
  • Install gutter guards. Available in most hardware and home stores, gutter guards prevent debris from entering the gutter and interfering with the flow of water away from the house and into the ground.
  • Trim trees and remove dead branches. Ice, snow and wind could cause weak trees or branches to break and damage your home or car, or injure someone walking by your property.
  • Repair steps and handrails. This may prevent someone from falling and being seriously injured. Broken stairs and banisters can become lethal when covered with snow and ice.
  • Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations. Use caulking to protect water pipes and make sure that skylights and other roof openings have proper weather stripping to prevent snow melt from seeping in.

  Inside Your Home

  • Keep the house warm. Set the thermostat for at least 65 degrees to prevent the pipes from freezing. 
  • Add extra insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. If too much heat escapes through the attic, it can cause snow or ice to melt on the roof. Water can then re-freeze, causing more snow and ice to build up. This can result in a collapsed roof, and can contribute to ice damming. Ideally, the attic should be five to ten degrees warmer than the outside air. Well-insulated basements and crawl spaces will also help protect pipes from freezing. You may also consider insulating unfinished rooms such as garages to keep pipes from freezing.  You may also consider insulating unfinished rooms, such as garages, to keep pipes from freezing.
  • Have the heating system serviced. Furnaces, boilers and chimneys should be serviced at least once a year to prevent fire and smoke damage.
  • Check pipes. Look closely for cracks and leaks and have the pipes repaired immediately. Wrap exposed pipes with heating tape.
  • Install an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system. This will protect the system against increased pressure caused by freezing pipes and can help prevent your pipes from bursting.
  • Make sure that smoke and fire alarms are working properly. Residential fires increase in the winter, so it is important to protect your family with working alarm systems. Also, consider installing a carbon monoxide detector, since a well-sealed home can trap this toxic gas.
  • Learn how to shut the water off and know where your pipes are located. If your pipes freeze, time is of the essence. The quicker you can shut off the water or direct your plumber to the problem, the better chance you have to prevent pipes from bursting.
  • Hire a licensed contractor to look for structural damage. If damage is discovered, have it repaired now rather than waiting for a problem to occur. Also, ask about ways to prevent water damage due to snow-related flooding. Plastic coatings for internal basement walls, sump pumps and other methods can prevent flood damage to your home and belongings.

Weather experts say power outages are possible with this storm, so please watch the weather, plan ahead, get a generator if you can and stock up the cupboards. Stay Safe! 
 For more information or help with insurance questions contact us at 918-664-7100 or on the web at

Posted 4:01 PM

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