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Published on January 29, 2019

Take precautions when temps dip below zero

We all know the dangers associated with a wintry blast of below-zero temperatures.

And while cold weather is nothing new to the Southern Tier, it’s good to remind ourselves just how to cope with snow, ice, a deep freeze and wind gusts. A few simple precautions can mean the difference between catastrophe and safety.

Here are a few tips from UHS Stay Healthy at the Oakdale Mall about handling cold weather and avoiding its worst consequences:

  • If possible, adjust your schedule to avoid being outside during the coldest part of the day or night. Stay indoors and avoid travel as much as feasible.
  • Dress for the outdoors even if you don't think you'll be out much. Make sure you have a warm coat, hat and gloves that will keep you well-covered, so that you don’t leave large areas of skin exposed. Have a change of clothes ready in case what you’re wearing gets wet.
  • Wear sturdy boots. Have hand and foot warmers at the ready.
  • Keep your children warm and indoors. Don’t let them wait outside for the school bus for a long period of time. If you have an infant at home, have plenty of gear on hand, such as extra diapers, formula and food.
  • If you have pets or farm animals, make sure they have plenty of food and water, and are not overly exposed to extreme cold.
  • Ensure that your car emergency kit is well-stocked if you do have to drive somewhere. Put blankets or sleeping bags in your vehicle in case you should get stranded in traffic or on a lonely road.
  • Fill your gas tank. Make sure your car or other vehicle has at least half a tank of gas during extreme-cold situations so that you can stay warm if you become stranded.
  • Your travel survival kit should also include flashlights with fresh batteries, jumper cables, a tool kit, cat litter for traction, ice scrapers and a snow shovel, flares or a reflective triangle, non-perishable food, water, and a first aid kit.
  • Check your house. Take precautions to ensure that your water pipes don’t freeze. Know the temperature thresholds of your plants and crops.
  • Have on hand at least one gallon of drinking water per person per day for at least three days. And be aware that high-protein foods can give you energy.
  • Use a battery-operated or hand-cranked radio at home to stay informed in case the power goes out.
  • Keep your cell phones' and other mobile devices’ batteries charged up. Keep a spare charger in your car.
  • A simple bit of planning can help you avoid cold-weather problems.

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