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Winter Weather Checklist: Make Sure You're Ready

The winter season is approaching! Seabury Age-In-Place® wants to make sure you are safe and warm this winter. We’ve put together some tips, discounts, and resources for getting winter ready, paying the utility bills, and navigating an emergency, such as a snow storm.

Getting Winter Ready

  1. Make sure all of your necessary prescriptions are filled. You can request samples of your prescriptions from your doctor to have on hand in case the weather makes it difficult to go out.

  2. Schedule a free energy assessment and winterization of your home through the Department of Energy & Environment. Contact 202-299-3316 or to sign-up.

  3. Insulate your windows, doors, and fireplaces. Cover windows with plastic or thick curtains to help retain the heat in your home, lowering your monthly energy bill.

  4. Switch to Energy Star LED light bulbs. They last longer than incandescent lights and lower the total energy use in your home. The DC Sustainable Energy Unit can help you find LED light bulbs in the District for as low as .95 cents. Contact them at 202-479-2222 or for more information about LED light bulbs and other energy saving discounts in the District.

  5. Service your HVAC semi-annually. Benefits include lowering your energy bills, fewer repairs, a lower chance of catastrophic breakdown, and longer equipment life. This can cost around $69.

  6. Check your air vents. Make sure they are working before turning on the boiler. Don’t cover any air vents with carpets, furniture, or curtains.

  7. Clear any water around your home before the freezing temperatures hit.

  8. Sign-up to receive free snow removal from ServeDC.

  9. Make an emergency kit.

  10. Contact PEPCO (202-833-7500) if you have medical equipment that requires electricity. They will make a note on your account and contact you in advance if there are scheduled outages.

  11. Contact Washington Gas (703) 750-1400 if you have any health conditions or medical equipment requiring oxygen. They will make a note on your account and better be able to assist you.

  12. Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

  13. Sign-up for AlertDC, the free emergency communications system in D.C. Contact 202-727-6161 to register.

Assistance with the Utility Bills

  1. Washington Gas has a budget billing program that spreads your bill evenly over 12 months. If you would like to sign-up or you’re having difficulty paying your natural gas bills, call 703-750-1000.

  2. Washington Area Fuel Fund can help you if you no longer are receiving government assistance or if you were not approved for government assistance to pay for fuel. The WAFF is available January 1 - May 31 annually. To apply call 1-888-318-9233.

  3. DC Water has a budget billing program that spreads your bill evenly over 12 months. There are also options for extended payment plans, financial emergencies, and general discounts based on income. Call 202-354-3600 to see what’s the best option for you.

  4. PEPCO and Washington gas offer residential aid programs. To be eligible, the utility bill must be in your name. You will need to provide proof of income. To apply call 311.

  5. Verizon customers 65+ are eligible for discounts on a landline. Call 800-253-0846 to apply.

  6. Office of the People’s Counsel advocates for District consumers of electric, natural gas, and landline telephone services. They can help you if you get disconnected, with service complaints, third party suppliers, utility bill disputes, payment arrangements, energy efficiency, and more. Contact them at 202-727-3071.

During the Winter

  1. Keep the heat on, even if it’s at the lowest temperature so your pipes don’t freeze.

  2. Stay warm. Temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit can be dangerous for older adults. Wear several layers of dry clothing; wear a windproof outer layer, a hat and mittens when outdoors; take a warm bath or shower; and drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids.

  3. If a health problem occurs, call your physician, the nearest clinic or hospital, or 911 immediately.

  4. Before a winter storm, get your prescriptions filled.

  5. In the event of a power outage call PEPCO at 877-737-2662. And, stay away from down wires.

  6. In the case of an emergency, do not turn off your natural gas on your own. Washington Gas can remotely turn off your gas for you. If you need to shut off or restore service, call 703-750-1000.

  7. Don’t use the oven as a heating mechanism. This can be extremely dangerous.

  8. Stay informed during a storm. Watch local TV news, tune into cable channels 13 or 16, listen to the local radio stations, and/or receive messages from AlertDC.

  9. If your heat goes out, call 411 and they will help you find a heating contractor.

  10. If you live in an apartment building and your heating system is not working, notify the property management office. If they do not respond, call the Housing Inspections Office (202-442-9557) for assistance during regular business hours. Call the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency at (202)727-6161 after hours and on weekends.

We hope these tips keep you safe and warm this winter. Just a reminder, Seabury Age-In-Place® stops doing yard work when the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit consistently for a week or by December 1.

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