TULSA, Okla. — At the Ziettlows' residence, the ferocious sounding forecast seems somewhat frightening.
Craig Zeittlow takes preparing for any bad weather seriously, and when it comes to a snowstorm, he said his wife knows the damage an ice dam on the roof can cause.
"She says it was like a waterfall coming through, running down the walls," Zeittlow said.
Roof design expert Sam Avila said ice dams form on the edge of a roof or in gutters and stop melting water from running off forcing the water into the house.
"Which can cause a lot of damage to the interior," Avila said.
On short notice, Avila said the best a homeowner can do to guard against ice dams is to make sure your gutters are cleaned out and put ice-melt in a stocking or pantyhose and tie the ends.
"You can lay them in your gutters, along the edge of the roof where the ice is likely to form," he said. "Also in any of the creases, we call valleys, where the water likes to sit and start pushing back into the house."
So, to start protecting your home from the winter storm, clean those gutters and stock up on de-icing salt and sand, not only to put in the gutters but to use on your sidewalk and driveway as well.
Insulate any exposed water pipes, run a slow drip in every faucet, and keep cabinet doors below sinks open so warm air can circulate the pipes. Set your thermostat to at least 68 degrees to help keep pipes from freezing.
If you have a snowblower, gas it up, have it in position ready to use, or make sure you have a sturdy shovel. Spray the top of it with nonstick cooking spray, and the snow will slide right off. Also, if you have a portable generator, make sure it's ready.
Back at the Ziettlows, they hope the precautions they're taking now will help them weather the storm.
"Hopefully, we come out unscathed and weather another year," Ziettlow said.
Like the Ziettlows, experts said you should use the calm before the possible storm wisely even though it's a cold calm.
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