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Extreme Cold Weather Tips

  • Stay indoors and use safe heating sources.
  • Keep space heaters away from flammable materials.
  • Check on elderly or disabled family, friends or neighbors.
  • Leave faucets dripping slightly to avoid freezing.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children. 
  • Before winter, have your home heating checked out. 
  • Store a supply of wood for fireplaces/wood-burning stoves.
  • Insulate walls and attics and weather-stripping doors and windows or covering them with plastic.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case pipes burst).
  • Check vehicle maintenance/antifreeze levels to avoid freezing.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home.

Remember the Five P's of Cold Weather Safety

  • Protect People: Remember to dress in layers and wear a hat and gloves. It is important to try to stay out of the wind and to stay dry. Also, remember to check on young children and the elderly family and neighbors who are the most sensitive to cold weather. If the temperature cannot be maintained at a home, make temporary arrangements to stay elsewhere, including with friends and family.
  • Protect Pets: If cold weather is in the forecast, be sure to bring outdoor pets inside or give them a warm shelter to stay in.
  • Protect Plants: Cover cold sensitive plants to protect them from the dangerous temperatures.
  • Protect Pipes: Cover pipes and allow outdoor faucets to slowly drip to prevent from freezing and breaking.
  • Practice Fire Safety: Use safe heating sources indoors. Do not use fuel-burning devices such as grills; they release carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas. Also, make sure to use space heaters according to their instructions and be attentive to open flames. In the event of long-term power outages, be extremely careful when using generators, lanterns, gas powered appliances or when cooking on charcoal grills or gas grills. These appliances produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide which is a deadly, invisible and odorless gas that can cause poisoning in only a matter of minutes. Equipment or appliances that produce carbon monoxide should never be used indoors. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not stop carbon monoxide buildup.


Frostbite & Hypothermia

In cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced, which can lead to serious health problems. 

When going outside in the cold, be sure to wear a hat, a scarf or knit mask that covers your face and mouth, a water-resistant coat, mittens or gloves, water-resistant boots, and several layers of loose-fitting clothing. 

Make sure body parts most often affected are covered in warm, dry clothing: nose, ears, toes, cheeks, chin, fingers.

How to Spot Frostbite & Hypothermia

Frostbite Symptoms

  • Redness or pain in any skin area may be the first sign of frostbite. 
  • A white or grayish-yellow skin area 
  • Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
  • Numbness

Hypothermia Symptoms


  • Shivering
  • Exhaustion
  • Confusion
  • Fumbling hands
  • Memory loss
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness


  • Bright red, cold skin
  • Very low energy

If a person's temperature is below 95 degrees, get medical attention immediately.

Avoid. Spot. Treat. Frostbite and Hypothermia

 Pet Safety

Do not leave pets out in the cold. Bring them indoors.

Make sure pets have a warm blanket to lie on and plenty of food and water. Bring into a garage, taking care to make sure toxins, such as antifreeze and bleach, are out of their reach.

If pets must stay outdoors, provide a pets house or other type of shelter and line the bottom with plenty of blankets or hay along with extra food and water. Try installing a light bulb flood light in the pet house at a safe distance away from the pet to avoid burns. The light bulb will help keep pets warm. However, do not use light bulbs when bedding with hay.

Keep your home humidified. Towel dry wet pets as soon as they come inside.

Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells.

Massage petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside or use booties for even more coverage.

Don't leave pets alone in a car during cold weather.


Water your plants thoroughly. The water will act as an insulator. Dry plants are more susceptible to freezing.

After watering, cover plants with a breathable material, such as fabric not plastic.

Place mulch at the base of your plants and do not prune prior to a freeze. 

If possible, move smaller plants inside.

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