First Alert Weather: How to prepare your home for bitterly cold temperatures

Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 12:25 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2022 at 2:31 PM CST
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - Hardware stores across the Ozarks remain busy as many make plans before the snow and dangerous cold arrive.

The KY3 First Alert Weather Team is tracking the potential for several inches of snow and wind chills dropping below -30 degrees.

Impact on road conditions will yet be seen, but most have larger concerns when the temperature gets this low.

“Losing power without a doubt because I’m retired, and I don’t need to go anywhere,” said Bill Bruton, a Harrison resident. “I have been unfortunate enough to have gone through seven or eight days without power down here.”

Bruton was stopping at Miller Hardware in Harrison Wednesday morning, and he wasn’t the only one.

“It’s picked up, people coming in looking for heaters, looking to hook up wood stoves, freeze protection like faucet covers, pipe wrap insulation, and plumbing fittings,” said Nate Miller, manager at Miller Hardware. “People underestimate the bitterness of the cold and the effects that it can have.”

“A lot of people still heat with wood around this area.”

Hardware stores recommend ensuring your home is ready before the power goes out.

- Insulated windows and doorways.

- Have a backup heat source through a generator or gas powered

- Try only to heat small areas

- Avoid any industrial heaters not meant for indoor use.

- Wood-burning heat (stove) is the safest source

“A lot of people still heat with wood around this area,” said Miller.

While nobody wants to be under-prepared, there are wrong ways to go about alternative heating methods.

“We’ve seen carbon monoxide poisoning where they’ve used cook stoves,” said Harrison Fire Chief Marc Lowery. “It’s not made for that. A cook stove is not made to heat your house. It’s meant for temporary cooking. The same thing happens with the propane bottles with the heater on top. Those are not made for indoor use.”

Lowery says if you use a generator, ensure it’s outside; the general rule is at least 20 feet from the house.

CLICK HERE for more interesting ways to stay warm without central heating.

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