Tips to Help You Prepare for Winter Weather
December 20 2022
Winter officially begins on December 22 with a strong start! The temperature in our area is expected to drop to dangerously low levels. Preparing in advance can put your mind at ease and keep you and your family safe. Extreme cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the elderly, people experiencing homelessness, pets, and water pipes. Plan for hazardous weather conditions.
- Anyone exposed to extreme cold for long periods of time can get hypothermia, a significant and potentially dangerous drop in body temperature.
- Try to have a five-day supply of food, water (one gallon per person per day), and any needed medication on hand, in case transportation is affected and you cannot leave your home.
- The elderly are especially vulnerable. If their body temperature drops to 95 degrees or lower, it can cause health problems. This may happen if there is little or no heat in their homes.
- Whether inside or outside, if you are cold, dress warmly, stay hydrated and make sure you are eating enough.
- If you have elderly neighbors or family members, check on them. Make sure they have heat and ask if they need groceries or prescriptions picked up or delivered.
- With below freezing temperatures, your pet(s) needs to be inside.
- If that is not possible, make sure they have a waterproof shelter, preferably raised off the ground, with dry, warm bedding. Give them fresh water frequently and plenty of food.
- Keep your cat inside, but be aware stray cats often try to keep warm by crawling up onto your car’s motor to keep warm. Honk your horn before starting your car to give them time to escape.
- Buy enough pet food for several days so you do not run out.
Protect Your Home
- In the house, protect faucets, outdoor pipes, and pipes in unheated areas, such as attics, by wrapping them with rags, newspaper, trash bags, or insulation. When pipes freeze and break, they can flood your yard or home.
- Open the doors of cabinets under sinks in your kitchen and bathrooms to allow heated indoor air to circulate around the water pipes.
- Do not place space heaters near furniture, clothing, people, or pets, and do not leave them unattended.
- Be careful of ice on steps, driveways, and sidewalks.
If You Lose Power
- Use flashlights, not candles.
- Have extra batteries on hand.
- Do not burn anything in a fireplace that is not meant to be used inside or that could create hazardous fumes.
- If you use a generator, do not use it in an enclosed space; make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Carbon Dioxide gas has no odor, color, or taste, but is deadly.
- Watch the weather forecast and local news stations for updates regarding road closures.
- If there is snow or ice, do not drive anywhere, especially at night.
For additional information visit readyharris.org or hcphtx.org.
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