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Preparing You For The Extreme Cold Weather

Preparing You For The Extreme Cold Weather

Temperatures are expected to plummet tonight and when you get up tomorrow you could experience some extreme cold with temperatures below 30 degrees and a wind chill factor in the 20s or lower.

Here are a few items for you to consider.

The CDC has a great guide for Extreme Cold. Even though our cold snap should not last more than a day or two, it has some information worth reading and you can find it here.

If you typically allow your pets to be outdoors, this is the time to keep them safe and warm inside. Check out these tips.

If you generally go out for a walk or run even on cold mornings here are some tips.


  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Protect your plants: Bring potted plants inside or store in the garage near an interior wall; For cold-sensitive outdoor plants, put down extra mulch and consider covering with a cloth fabric.
  • Make sure your car battery is in good shape (especially if you leave the car outside overnight) and battery terminals should be clean. Check your antifreeze.


  • Keep your pets inside.
  • Bang loudly on your car's hood before starting the motor to warn cats possibly sleeping beneath it.
  • More pets are lost during the winter than during any other season. Make sure yours wears ID tags.
  • Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck.
  • Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather.
  • If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside.
  • Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats.
  • Make sure pets have a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts.



  • If you need to protect your plants from a small number of especially cold nights, a simple shelter such as an old blanket may be enough. Take it off during the day so that the plants can get light and air. You may need to weigh or tie down the cloth so that it doesn't blow away
  • If you can, carry or wheel the plants into a garage, sun room, greenhouse, or shed. Outdoor plants may not be at their best indoors, since they won't necessarily get enough light, but they may make it long enough to survive through the winter. For certain tender plants in cold winters, you may also be able to overwinter them by digging up the roots at the right time and storing them correctly indoors
  • Don't do this if you expect a hard freeze, since it could backfire, but to protect plants against a little frost, a generous watering can help to retain some of the day's heat into the night
  • If you need to go out, dress in layers and wear hats, gloves and an appropriate coat.
  • Avoid overexertion, as cold weather puts added strain on your body.
  • Observe heater safety: Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water; keep heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and drapes; never leave children unattended near a space heater.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible.
  • If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
  • Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
  • Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

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