Experts provide home safeguard tips to Texans ahead of arctic blast

As freezing temperatures prepare to move in later this week, experts are urging Texas homeowners to act now. 

Dr. Ian Giammanco, the lead research meteorologist at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), suggests homeowners take a few minutes to prepare their homes to avoid any potential headaches down the road.  

"Here are IBHS, we crash test buildings against severe weather. Our goal really is to reduce the impact of severe weather on our homes and businesses and that reduce that damage and disruption," Dr. Giammanco said.  


Dr. Giammanco said Texas homes are not built for severe winter weather and is urging Houstonians to first, document the interiors of their homes.   

"Just take a walk around the inside of your home and snap pictures of all your stuff your home inventory. That includes your keepsakes but also your appliances, your TV, microwave, things like that. That makes the claims process if something bad happens, it makes that process of filing an insurance claim just go a bit smoother," Dr. Giammanco said. 

Next, he suggests adding insulation to exposed pipes and crawl spaces in your attic, to prevent a possible pipe burst. 

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Those worried, can also leave their faucets dripping. 

"You can get that foam wrap at any hardware stores, the big box stores, you can get it and make sure those are covered up because those spaces don't get the same amount of heat. That your interior part of your home does, so that's where a pipe may break first."

"Even a simple thing if you do is lose power, open up your cabinets where all your faucets come in, that let's just a little bit more warm air in that space, and can make the difference you're just trying to regulate that temperature just a little bit to keep it above the freezing mark," Dr. Giammanco said. 


Then, begin the preps outside.

"Lastly, take a walk outside and look for any low-hanging limbs that you could get to DIY to trim that might fall on your roof, if you could take care of those before we have an ice event. You know trees, especially in the south, can get weighted down with ice, snap, and can damage your roof," Dr. Giammanco said. 

Experts also recommend knowing where and how to shut your water off in case of an emergency. 

If you need additional heat, remember to keep generators outside and space heaters away from anything flammable.