Winter Weather Storms

Although rare in our area, extreme winter weather storms can leave communities without utilities or other services for long periods of time. However, even less severe winter weather storms can wreak havoc on your home, causing pipes to freeze and burst. Take these precautions to help protect your family and your home.

Before the Storm

  • Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms.
  • If you have a vehicle, fill the gas tank in case you have to evacuate.
  • Charge cell phones and other devices that need to be charged.
  • Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping.
  • Remove, drain, and store outdoor hoses.
    • Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs.
    • Open the outside valve to allow water to drain and keep the outside water valve open.
  • Consider installing products made to insulate pipes, like a pipe sleeve, heat tape, or similar materials.
  • Create an emergency supply kit for your home. Do not forget the needs of pets.
  • Create an emergency supply kit for your car.
  • Sign up for Thomasville TextAlert to report electric outages and receive updates through text messages on your mobile phone or device.
  • Sign up for Thomasville Community Connect, a free, secure, and easy to use platform that allows you to share critical information about your household that will aid first responders and emergency response personnel when responding to your residence.
  • Register for the Thomas County E-911 Emergency Notification System (Reverse 911) that allows the general public to receive dangerous weather condition alerts issued by Thomas County 911 on a mobile phone and/or through email.

During the Storm

  • Stay informed and listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Report electric outages to Thomasville TextAlert or contact our Utilities Response Center at (229) 227-5499.
  • Stay off roads if at all possible.
  • Limit your time outdoors. If you need to go outside, wear layers of warm clothing.
  • Keep garage doors closed if they house water lines.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  • When the weather is very cold, let cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both day and night.
  • If the need arises, only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows.
    • Before starting your generator, please be sure to read the owner’s manual.
    • Keep generators away from doors and windows.
    • Place generator downwind and point the engine exhaust away from any nearby people or pets.
    • Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you experience symptoms, get to fresh air immediately.

After the Storm

  • Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information about what is happening and what you should do. However, you should listen to NOAA Weather Radio, watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.
  • NEVER use any open flame device. If your pipes freeze, apply heat to the frozen section of pipe using one of these methods:
    • Electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe
    • Hair dryer
    • Portable space heater
    • Towels soaked in hot water wrapped around the pipe
  • Keep the faucet on as the pipe begins to thaw.
  • Apply heat until the full water pressure is restored.
  • Check all other faucets in your home; if one freezes, other may also freeze.
  • If the need arises, only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows.
  • Check on your neighbors.