Be smart and stay warm as temps dip

Published 8:34 pm Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oh, Baby it’s cold outside.

The refrain from a familiar song rings true around Pike County today, as temperatures drop to some of the lowest we’ve seen this year.

With forecasts predicting lows below 20 and a high of only about 40 degrees today, Pike Countians are wise to bundle up and hunker down at home.

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And in doing so, the folks at the American Red Cross and other agencies remind us to be sensible and smart. Some tips for coping with the cold weather include:

Keep pipes from freezing by:

leaving cabinet doors open to let warm air circulate around water pipes;

letting the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes;

keeping the thermostat set to a consistent temperature.

Inspect fireplaces and wood stoves.

Check smoke alarms.

When you go outside in extremely cold weather dress warmly:

Wear mittens and a hat.

Dress in layers.

Wear waterproof boots.

Learn to recognize the symptoms of hypothermia, including dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering; seek medical help when necessary.

And, if you or a family member or neighbor are using space heaters for additional warmth, please be careful. Space heaters are among the leading causes of home fires during the winter months. And, units can produce deadly carbon monoxide gas if not properly vented.

Finally, please consider bringing your outdoor pets inside, or at least moving them to a covered and warm area, such as a garage. Dogs and cats can easily suffer in extremely cold temperatures, and we have a responsibility to care for them.