MID offers tips as winter solstice approaches

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Weather conditions continue to quickly change throughout Mississippi, with cooler temperatures and frost forecast in several portions of the state anticipated to kick off the winter season later this week.

According to the Mississippi Insurance Department, the official start of winter on Thursday, Dec. 21 often brings conditions that create a high risk of damage to roofs, interiors, and plumbing.

“The weather in Mississippi can be unpredictable,” Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said. “We’ve had everything from mild winters to snow and major ice storms in recent years. Your homeowners or renter’s policy can protect you against common winter damage, so check your policy before temperatures drop.”

The MID recommends the following tips for the upcoming winter season:

  • Look at the trees around properties and cut back branches or stems that are dead, dying, diseased, or broken
  • Clear debris from gutters to help prevent ice dams by allowing meltwater to drain freely
  • Use a safe and secure ladder when removing leaves and debris from gutters or contact a professional for assistance
  • Evaluate the insulation and ventilation (roof or soffit vents) in attics, keeping the warm air in homes and out of attics
  • To minimize the risk of frozen and cracked pipes, detach garden hoses from homes before freezing weather begins and properly winterize homes and irrigation systems
  • To protect interior pipes, leave faucets running with a slight drip and open the cabinet doors under sinks

The NWS is also warning individuals to be mindful of extremely cold air that, if combined with brisk winds, could induce frostbite or hypothermia in a matter of minutes.

Those exposed to extreme cold can experience frostbite on uncovered skin and extremities, such as hands and feet, or have symptoms of hypothermia if the body loses heat faster than it can produce it.

Cold weather can also affect crops, as chilled air outbreaks and frost can damage or kill produce for farmers and residential plants. Frost often develops on clear nights and can occur when the air temperature is in the mid-30s.

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