May 27, 2018
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What to do to prepare for winter

When a winter storm is on the way, one useful piece of advice is to fill the bathtub for a reserve water supply in case of a power outage or contamination. But if the bathtub plug leaks, as many do, the water will all run out. What to do?

Survival experts offer a cheap solution, along with other handy tips on how to prepare for power failure, freeze-up or other winter emergencies. To solve the leaky plug problem, a plastic bladder costing as little as $29.95 fits in the tub, can contain up to 100 gallons and has a syphon arrangement to get water for washing, cooking or flushing the toilet.

Maine winters have many delightful aspects, but they can pose unexpected problems. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has helpful advice on what to do before the next storm hits:

Prepare your home and family for possible isolation. If you have fireplaces or a wood stove, have plenty of dry, seasoned wood on hand. If you have an electricity generator, learn how to use it safely (and never use it inside). Learn how to turn off the water valves in case a pipe bursts. Keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure everyone knows how to use them.

Prepare your car. Keep the gasoline tank full. Be sure antifreeze levels are sufficient and brakes and battery are in top condition. Check heater, defroster, lights, windshield wipers and tires to make sure tread is adequate. Keep an emergency kit in the car, with a shovel, flashlight, water, snack food, extra socks and mittens, a tow rope, booster cables, emergency flares and distress flag and a blanket.

But don’t use the car in a storm unless you have to.

Dress for weather. Wear several layers, with a water repellent garment on the outside. Wear mittens rather than gloves. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs. And wear a hat, even if you don’t like it.

In these balmy days of fall, winter may seem like a long way off. But it’s coming, and as the Boy Scout motto says, “Be Prepared.”

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