With temperatures predicted to remain below freezing for the majority of the next week, the importance of staying safe cannot be stressed enough. Andrew Velasquez, FEMA regional administrator, said subfreezing temperatures can be dangerous and even life-threatening for people who don’t take the proper precautions.
During cold weather, you should stay indoors as much as possible and limit your exposure to the cold;
dress in layers and keep dry; check on family, friends, and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance; and know the symptoms of cold-related health issues such as frostbite and hypothermia and seek medical attention if health conditions are severe.
In addition, you are urged to bring your pets indoors or ensure they have a warm shelter area with unfrozen water, and make sure your vehicle has an emergency kit that includes an ice scraper, blanket and flashlight – and keep the fuel tank above half full.
You can find more information and tips on being ready for winter weather and extreme cold temperatures at http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather.
Homeowners are also urged to take steps to prevent frozen pipes. When water freezes, it expands, and when it expands within a pipe, it could burst and seriously damage property.
Letting a faucet drip during extreme cold weather can prevent a pipe from bursting. Opening a faucet will provide relief from the excessive pressure that builds between the faucet and the ice blockage when freezing occurs. If there is no excessive water pressure, there is no burst pipe, even if the water inside the pipe freezes.