- Number crunchers offer perspective on our community (7/9/20)
- Nebraskans love their fireworks (6/30/20)
- Fake news? You ain't seen nothin' yet (6/26/20)
- Time to put more effort into reducing demand for water (6/16/20)
- Mental health may be biggest challenge of COVID-19 lockdown (5/21/20)
- Arts, music scene alive and well; just needs an audience (5/14/20)
- Hospital Week honors front-line healthcare workers (5/12/20)
Despite warm day, winter weather approaching fast
The first frost arrived right on time, and despite today's predicted 80-degree highs, late October weather will return by mid-week. Can snow and cold be far behind?
With family budgets continuing to feel the effects of recession, and energy prices continuing to climb, a small investment of time and money can pay off over the coming months of winter.
There's still time to prepare before winter sets in in earnest.
For your furnace:
* Call in a professional to check it for winter.
* Make sure you have plenty of furnace filters on hand and change them monthly.
* Consider installing a programmable thermostat. They're relatively inexpensive and can make a big difference.
* Make sure flammable material is removed from the area around the furnace.
If you have a fireplace:
* Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds.
* Consider calling a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
* Stock up on firewood, and store it in a dry place away from the exterior of your home.
* Make sure the damper opens and closes properly.
* Check the motar between the bricks and tuckpoint if necessary.
Around the house:
* Check for cracks around pipes and seal them.
* Weatherstrip around doors and caulk around windows to prevent cold air from entering the home.
* Replace cracked glass and if you wind up replacing the entire window, prime and paint exposed wood.
* If your home has a basement, consider protecting window wells by covering them with plastic shields.
On your roof:
* Consider adding extra attic insulation.
* Clean gutters and check flashing to make sure water can't enter your home.
* Drain gas from lawnmowers later in the year, but get your snow blower tuned up and ready to go. Stock up on sidewalk salt for icy days.
In the house:
* Make sure your smoke detectors are working, and install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace or water heater.
As to water:
* Drain all garden hoses, insulate exposed plumbing pipes, and make sure you know where the main water shutoff valve is.
Around the yard:
* Trim trees and branches that may be too close to electrical lines and your house.
* Plant spring flower bulbs and pull bulbs that cannot winter over.
Prepare an emergency kit:
* Buy indoor candles and matches or lighter for use during a power shortage.
* Find phone numbers for utilities and keep them handy.
* Store bottled water and other non-perishable food supplies, including pet food, if you have a pet.