With frigid subzero temperatures in the forecast, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency wants families and individuals to stay safe when faced with hazardously cold temperatures.
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.
Suzanne Crider with the Starke County Humane Society has a few tips to keep your roaming pets safe and warm this winter.
“If you have an outside dog and you don’t have a heated dish, sometimes it’s easier to just have a couple different dishes that you can fill one up with water in the morning, let them have a drink, then take another one out there in the afternoon and bring the other one in to thaw out and keep trading your dishes around because people don’t stop and think how important it is for them to have water,” said Crider.
She said it’s also a good idea not to use blankets, carpets or throw rugs, because when they get wet they can draw moisture in and make the animal even colder. Straw is the best choice, she said, as it wicks the dampness away from the animal. Crider advised against using hay, as it can be very irritating for the animal.
Finally, Crider said if you have animals that come in and out, make sure you wipe any salt off their paws because it can irritate their digestive system if they clean themselves off.
You can find more information and tips on being ready for winter weather and extreme cold temperatures at http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather.