Residents warned to take

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 21, 2000

precautions against biting cold


Staff Writer

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Dec. 20, 2000 10 PM

It’s time to remember the three p’s ­ people, pets and pipes.

The past couple of nights, temperatures in the area dropped below freezing and more of the same is expected.

Today, there is a 50 percent chance of rain, which could change into sleet and snow, and high temperatures only reaching to the mid 40s. The National Weather Service is predicting tonight will be mostly cloudy with a chance of snow flurries and temperatures in the mid 20s.

Tomorrow, it’s only expected to reach into the upper 30s.

The cold temperatures make it necessary to take some precautions.

People should dress warmly. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends wearing loose-fitting, layered, light-weight clothing because layers can be removed to prevent perspiration and chill.

When leaving the warmth of a building, people should protect their lungs by covering their mouths and speak only when necessary.

And, avoid overexertion outdoors. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unaccustomed exercise, such as pushing a car can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse. Also, be aware of symptoms of dehydration.

Veterinarian Jack Jones in Brundidge said pet owners need to be extremely cautious during the cold weather.

On Wednesday, a hypothermic dog was brought into his clinic, so he’s already seeing the effects of the winter weather.

If at all possible, Jones said, outdoor pets should be brought inside. Those who have animals that are not housebroken, should provide extra bedding in a warm shelter out of the wind.

Jones said pet owners should also remember to provide fresh water and extra food for outdoor animals.

"They forget it (water) freezes and the dog doesn’t have access to water," Jones said.

As far as those pipes are concerned, they should be wrapped in insulation or layers of old newspapers. Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture. Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing and know how to shut off water valves.

If pipes do freeze, insulation should be removed and pipes should be wrapped in rags. Then, completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold.

Homes should also be well insulated. Caulk and weather stripping doors and windows and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic (from the inside) will help conserve energy.

It’s also a good idea to have safe emergency heating equipment, such as wood for fireplaces, fuel for camp stoves and portable space heaters or kerosene heaters.

Residents should also install and check smoke detectors to ensure the Christmas holidays are not ruined by loss of life because of a fire.