Here's how to deal with winter weather:
â€˘ A family should have a home winter plan and a survival kit. The plan needs to include how to keep warm if there is an extended power outage and a kit should include food and other necessities. The kit also should include a battery-powered radio (perhaps a weather radio) or television and extra batteries as well as a flashlight, bottled water, non-perishable foods and other necessities.
â€˘ Cold puts extra strain on a person's heart, so â€śtake it easyâ€ť is the advice. On the other hand, overheating also can lead to problems.
â€˘ Drinking water regularly helps a body.
â€˘ Frostbite and hypothermia may be avoided by warming extremities frequently.
â€˘ Children may like to play outside, but blowing snow can make it easy to get lost. And skin damage may occur after a very few minutes outside in the predicted frigid wind chills.
â€˘ Adults always should be near children outdoors in extremely cold conditions.
â€˘ Streets, and especially snowplows, should be avoided by people on foot.
â€˘ People who do go outside should return indoors for frequent warm-up breaks.
â€˘ Ice on streams and lakes may not be thick enough to be safe, even after bitter cold temperatures.
â€˘ Pets should have shelter, preferably indoors. Outdoor animals need access to non-frozen water and food.
â€˘ The elderly, those with disabilities and others who are vulnerable should remain in contact with family and neighbors.
â€˘ Generators, grills and stoves used inside may produce dangerous, but odorless, carbon dioxide. Every house should have at least one CO detector. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness nausea, chest pain and confusion.
â€˘ A winter survival kit for a vehicle should include small candles, matches, sharp knife, red cloth, pencil, paper, snacks, mobile telephone car adapter, flashlight and spare batteries.
â€˘ Public Safety officials have one overarching suggestion for people stranded in their vehicles: â€śCalm down and think. The storm will end and you will be found.â€ť In the meantime, people should keep fresh air in their car and do what they can to stay warm without using fuel.
â€˘ Home fires often occur in cold weather, so extra safety precautions should be observed.
The Humane Society provides the following tips and advice so you can properly protect your pet during frigid conditions.
BRING YOUR PET INSIDE: Don't leave your pet outside in the cold for prolonged periods of time. Remember â€” thermometers might show one temperature, but wind chills can make it feel much, much colder. Limit time outdoors and be mindful of frostbite on ears, tail and paws. If you run with your dog, pay attention to cold paws and, if it gets too cold, leave your pup at home. Cats should always be left indoors. "Outdoor" cats are often victims of road traffic, wilds animals, dogs and cruel people and freezing or starving to death in severely cold weather.
ACCLIMATE YOUR PET TO COLD WEATHER: If your pets spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure to introduce them gradually to dropping temperatures, rather than exposing them to the extreme cold all at once.
PROVIDE ADEQUATE SHELTER: Adequate shelter is mandated by law. If your dog lives outdoors, you must provide a well-insulated and draft-free doghouse. The opening should face south with a sturdy, flexible covering to prevent icy winds from entering. Line the floors of the shelter with straw, not hay. Towels and blankets can become damp or freeze, making the space colder.
BEWARE OF ANTIFREEZE AND ROCK SALT: Antifreeze often collects on driveways and roadways. Although it smells and tastes sweet to your pet, it is lethally poisonous. If you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately! Deicing products like rock salt can irritate footpads. Be sure to rinse and dry your pet's feet after being outside. Pet stores often carry pet-safe ice melts that do the job and won't harm your pets.
DRY OFF WET PETS: A wet pet is a cold pet. Towel or blow-dry your pet if he gets wet from rain or snow. Also, it is important to clean and dry paws to prevent tiny cuts and cracked pads.
PROVIDE PLENTY OF FOOD AND WATER: It takes more energy in the winter to properly regulate body temperature, so your pet needs additional calories if he spends a lot of time playing or working outdoors. Your pet is just as likely to get dehydrated in the winter as in the summer, so be sure to provide plenty of fresh water. Snow is not a substitute for water. Refill outside bowls often to prevent freezing.
CAREFULLY KEEP PETS WARM INSIDE: Keep your pets warm, dry and away from drafts while inside. Space heaters and other supplemental heat sources can burn your pet. Keep portable heaters out of reach and make sure all fireplaces have adequate screening. And, of course, never leave your pet alone with an unattended fire.
GROOM REGULARLY: Your pet needs a well-groomed coat to keep him properly insulated. Short- or coarse-haired dogs might get extra cold so consider a sweater or a coat. Long-haired dogs should have their paw hair trimmed to ease in cleaning and snow removal.