With the national weather service is calling for extreme cold this weekend and overnight temps plummeting to 10-20 below zero it might be a good idea to brush up on those cold weather safety tips. Sure there are plenty of outdoor winter weather activities to enjoy but be prepared. The same goes for making sure your home is ready for the extreme chill. Here are just a few reminders.

The Big Chill

# During this cold season, remember not to heat your home with your barbeque, charcoal, propane patio heater, or other method intended for the outdoors as they will release carbon monoxide in your home. Generators are also intended for outdoor use only and are unsafe to use indoors.

# Check on elderly relatives and neighbors. Your ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age, and older people are more susceptible to cold-related injury or illness like frostbite or hypothermia.

# If you have pets, bring them indoors. If you cannot bring them inside, provide them an adequate place to sleep – off the floor and away from all drafts. Make sure that they have access to unfrozen water.

# Recognize the symptoms of hypothermia: confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Recognize frostbite warning signs: gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, waxy feeling skin. Seek medical attention immediately if you have these symptoms.

# Dress warmly and in layers – don’t forget the hat and gloves

# Get out of wet clothes immediately and warm the core body temperature with a blanket or warm fluids like hot cider, hot cocoa or soup. Avoid smoking and drinking caffeine or alcohol if you expect you or someone you are trying to help has hypothermia or frostbite.

# Keep an ample supply of firewood if you have a fireplace and NEVER burn coal

# Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze.

# Weatherproof your home by adding weather-stripping and insulation.

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