Welcome to Texas!

After the once in a lifetime freeze here in Dallas, I’d like to revise and extend my post welcoming the folks from other states.

I’d like to add…

Every few years, more than one, less than five, something will happen that will smash your stuff – your house, your car, your life. Dead freeze this week, busting your pipes.

Hail will come and smash your house and car. Wind will come and knock your stuff over. Tornadoes will show up and shatter your neighborhood, floods come. Blistering heat lingers and blows out your AC, your wallet, and your patience.

This is the price you pay for an otherwise stable climate, job climate, and nice place to live.

Like I said in the post, never ever say – “Well, I came here from (insert your blue state) and we never had this happen. No kidding. Something happened that caused you to come here. The amount of chatter I hear from the New England folks is infuriating. Last 2-3 winters, I don’t think it froze once.

How about we heat up your house in Connecticut to 110 degrees for 40 days in a row and you can let us know how that goes.

Come here. Get prepared.

One of the funniest things I’ve seen this week is the amount of people on NextDoor posting for help – “Help! My pipe burst! how do I turn the water off!” (I’d start by calling someone, as opposed to posting) “Help! I need to turn the water off. Can anyone lend me the tool?”

Cripes. First thing you must do when you buy a house is see how to turn off the water, gas, and electric. You MUST know this. For the electric – it’s usually the big breakers on the top of the panel. For the gas, it’s a valve on the meter – the only valve. And water is on the curb, under a panel that has a key to open. You don’t need a t-handle tool to shut it off, a pair of channel locks will do, but it helps.

If you’ve bought a house you MUST have basic tools – Screwdrivers, hammer, Vise grips, channel locks. These tools are cheap. Far cheaper than a contractor.

Learn a few things – Find out how to turn the gas off. Find out how to replace an outlet or switch. Find out how to repair copper, PEX or PVC plumbing. Hell, these days you can repair even a copper pipe with a shark bite part. Almost no tools needed. Buy parts – Plugs, outlets, plumbing stuff. It’s cheap. For less than a hundred bucks you could’ve been setup to deal with the surprises dealt this week.

I’ll have a post coming soon on what I had to do. Some luck, some skill, I did OK.