The first freeze of the season: How to prepare

The first freeze of the season: How to prepare

September 28, 2021

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As fall begins, states across the U.S. are bracing for the first freeze of the 2021 season.

A cold front is moving across the Plains midweek and the cooler air is also forecast for the Northwest and Northeast.

Average freeze dates for much of the central and southern U.S. begin in October and November, according to the Weather Channel.

With chillier weather comes health and home concerns, and preparation can be key to avoiding risks. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that Americans winterize homes by insulating water lines along exterior walls, installing weather stripping and storm windows and repairing roof leaks and clearing out gutters. 

The agency recommends checking heating systems and annually inspecting fireplaces and chimneys, in addition to keeping a safe alternate heating source on hand and installing a carbon monoxide detector. 

People should be equipped in advance for weather-related emergencies, like power outages. 

The CDC suggests preparing emergency kits for both cars and homes, including extra batteries and chargers, water and nonperishable food, flashlights and battery-powered radios, a first-aid kit and medicine, blankets, baby items, booster cables, tire chains and tire pumps, cat litter or road salt and flares. 

For cars, radiators should be serviced, drivers should maintain the proper antifreeze level, the gas tank should be kept full, windshield washers should have wintertime formula and users should check the tread on tires.

Lastly, the CDC instructs people to listen to weather forecasts regularly, use any generators and heat their homes safely and conserve heat.

The organization warns of caution while traveling or during outdoor activities, with care to avoid hypothermia or frostbite.

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