Don’t be left out in the cold this week

Published 8:28 pm Monday, January 12, 2009

If you think it’s cold today, just wait because it’s going to get even colder. The National Weather Service is predicting some bitter cold air to move into the state later this week. Specifically, temperatures Friday morning are expected to dip into the teens.

That is the coldest weather we have seen so far this winter. We in the state don’t usually see chilly weather this tough. So, we aren’t as prepared for it as many places are. So, here are some things we can do to prevent any problems from extreme cold:

If you are going to use a fireplace, make sure that it has been properly serviced. It needs to be cleaned out at least once a year. Chimney sweeping logs are not enough. It must be properly cleaned each year.

Make sure any exposed pipes outside your home are properly insulated. That includes any connections for your hoses. All hoses should be disconnected, and the taps should be covered.

Leave indoor water taps open just enough to have them drip slowly. That should keep pipes from freezing in very cold weather.

Bring pets indoors if possible. If not, provide adequate shelters that will keep them warm, and provide them access to unfrozen water.

Check on your neighbors, especially those who are elderly. Make sure they have adequate heat and blankets to deal with the cold.

Make sure you have a cold-weather emergency kit in your car just in case you are stranded. This should include items such as blankets, flashlights, windshield scraper and even a can of compressed air with sealant for tire repair. A full list can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at

Wear clothing appropriate for cold weather. Dress in layers. Be sure the outer layer of your clothing is tightly woven, preferably wind resistant, to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind. Wool, silk, or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton. Also, stay dry because wet clothing chills the body rapidly.