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How to protect yourself, home and pets as freezing temps sweep Northeast Ohio

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Posted at 6:39 AM, Jan 27, 2022

CLEVELAND — When temperatures dip below zero, some of us forget how quickly our health and our homes could be in danger.

For starters, frostbite can set in quickly within 10 to 15 minutes leaving your ears, nose, fingers and toes at greatest risk. It’s why dressing properly is so important. You should wear three to four layers of dry synthetic materials. Since cotton retains moisture, you want to avoid wearing it in freezing conditions because if it gets wet you'll be even colder. Keep in mind, your body temp only has to drop two to four degrees to experience hypothermia.

Freezing temps can be just a much of a threat to your pets as well. The Cleveland APL tells us animals are in no way prepared to cope. So, avoid taking them outside, except for short bathroom breaks. In addition, if you see a pet left outside in freezing conditions, call for help right away.

The elderly are at more risk. too.

The National Institute on Aging says older adults lose body heat faster. So, a big chill can cause them to quickly experience hypothermia. For an older person, when their body temperature gets lower than 95 degrees, it can cause heart attack, kidney problems, liver damage or even death.

As for your home, frozen pipes could be a big problem over the next few days and is most likely to happen in the bathroom, kitchen and unheated areas like the garage. You can If that happens, try using a heating pad or hair dryer for 15 to 20 minutes until water starts flowing again.

Also, never plug space heaters into an extension cord and keep them six feet away from furniture and other objects.

RELATED:Wind Chill Advisory issued for all of Northeast Ohio