Tips on Staying Warm and Safe
What do you prefer? Hot summer days hanging out by the beach or the lake or bundling up with your honey while drinking a cup of hot cocoa (or a glass of wine) and watching TV or playing fun board games with your kids inside your cozy home?
Personally, I like both and that’s one reason why I love living in Northern California. But this week, the coldest day of the year will surprise even our fellow Californians down South as the lowest temperatures of the year are expected to beat the low of 44 degrees set back in February in Orange County.
“January, February and March were very warm months, so it’s fairly certain these will be the coldest days of the year,” said Mark Moede, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s San Diego office.
Snow is expected most winters in Northern California and higher elevations: however, this week’s cold front is likely to bring up to 8 inches of snow in Big Bear. Other Southern California mountains could see as much as 10 inches.
It all sounds like fun and games because we could go out and play in winter wonderland, but we also have to remember that exposure to cold temperatures, whether indoors or outside, can cause serious or life- threatening health problems.
When winter temperatures drop significantly below normal, staying warm and safe can become a challenge. So, before you go out to make snow angels, keep the following tips in mind.
Check on elderly family members, friends, or neighbors. Elderly and those with serious medical conditions are at risk. Please be sure to check in on community members that might be vulnerable during this cold spell. Bring your pets indoors. A dog or cat left outside in severe cold weather can die quickly from exposure. Except for exercise and walks, all dogs and cats are safer indoors during the winter. Bring your pets inside when temperatures start to dip near freezing. Make sure they have a warm draft free place indoors with a dry mat or blanket that they can lie on.
Carbon Monoxide is a “silent killer.” It is not OK to heat the inside of your home with any kind of BBQ, propane heater, or any other fuel fired equipment. Only use heaters that were installed with your home and those that are designed to be used indoors. Make sure that your natural gas furnaces and other appliances are in good, clean working order.
Freezing pipes. Insulate outdoor pipes that lead into your home. Seal with caulk around the pipes that lead into and out of your home. Inside your home, leave bathroom and under sink cabinets open to help warm the water. You can defrost your pipes using a hair dryer on a low setting, working your way slowly from the faucet to where your pipe enters the wall.
Reduce your vehicle speed. If the temperature stays below 32 degrees, there will be a high probability you will see black ice. Be extra cautious when going over bridges and/or overpasses. Give yourself extra spacing between vehicles in front of you. The best thing you can do is reduce your vehicle speeds.
Watch for tree limbs. As temperatures dip, tree’s become vulnerable to limbs snapping. Be cautious!
One Last Cool Tip . . .
Taking preventive action is your best defense against having to deal with extreme cold-weather conditions. By preparing your home and car in advance for winter emergencies, and by observing safety precautions during times of extremely cold weather, you can reduce the risk of weather-related health problems.