How To: Prepare for Severe Cold

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By Quincy Vagell on January 18, 2013, 2:55pm Last modified: January 21, 2013, 11:55am

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With severe cold on the way, here are some tips to keep everything warm and safe.

For those of us with pets, now is a great time to think of ways to prepare them for cold.

  • Get pets into a routine so that they are ready to be indoors more often.
  • Pets get cold too, just like people do!
  • If pets must go outdoors, limit exposure to cold and dress them, if possible.

With cold weather on the way, chances are you may be spending more time at home.

  • Make sure that pipes, windows and doors are insulated.
  • Drafts of cold air can make it much more expensive to heat your home,.
  • Even if you are not home, keep the heat on low to avoid bursting pipes.
  • Stock up on heating fuel, if necessary, as heat may get used more often.
  • Utilize space heaters to help cut energy costs, or to bring extra warmth to an area.
  • Do not run generators inside. Make sure they are always used in a well-ventilated area to avoid harmful or toxic fumes.
  • Do not run a car in a garage to charge electronics, Carbon Monoxide is released.

This is a good time to make sure your car is ready for harsh winter cold.

  • Make sure that antifreeze levels are always near full.
  • Use the appropriate antifreeze. Some cheaper brands may freeze at low temps.
  • Fill windshield washer fluid with a brand that melts ice at sub-zero temperatures.
  • Check tire pressure and extreme temperature variations can cause tires to deflate or expand.
  • Have gas in your vehicle and try to avoid letting the gas level get too close to empty.
  • Refer to your owner's manual to make sure you are using the right type of motor oil. Some oils are preferred at extremely low temperatures.

Don't overlook yourself, your family members or friends during cold weather.

  • Stay indoors as much as possible to stay warm.
  • If you must go outside, dress in layers and avoid exposing skin.
  • Pay attention to Wind Chill advisories and warnings. If the weather gets extremely cold, it can literally become dangerous to be outside for long periods.
  • Have emergency kits ready at home and in your vehicle(s).
  • Stay safe if you are outside. Carry a cell phone at all times, if necessary and avoid going into the woods alone if it is extremely cold.
  • Have safety plans in mind, in case an emergency happens. This means being prepared in case you lose power or if you get stranded outside or in a car during extreme cold.
  • Remember that the elderly, children and those who are sick are especially vulnerable when it gets cold. Check up on them and make sure they stay warm.

These are just a few tips. Feel free to comment with your own and check back for more tips and articles on cold weather safety in the coming days!

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Quincy Vagell

Town: Naugatuck, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since January 2012.

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