CHECKLIST: Prepare for extreme cold

Posted at 4:06 PM, Jan 05, 2015
and last updated 2016-01-18 18:53:43-05

With dangerously cold temperatures in the forecast, it's time to prepare to stay warm and safe.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

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Prepare your home

It's important to insulate pipes, caulk your doors and windows, and make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working. 

The American Red Cross has more details here on preventing frozen pipes and thawing them if necessary.

When snow and ice are in the forecast, you'll want to make sure your shovels and ice melter are handy and that your snow blower is working properly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more tips for preparing your home here.

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Prepare your car

Pay special attention to your car's fluids! You'll want your antifreeze and windshield washer fluid topped off, and it's best to keep the gas tank near full.

Having an emergency kit in your trunk is recommended too. It should include a blanket, a flashlight, drinking water, an ice scraper, a shovel, jumper cables and a first aid kit.

The CDC has a more comprehensive list of supplies to keep in your car here.

Prepare your kids

If you're sending your kids out the door to school, make sure they're dressed for the part. The Red Cross recommends several layers of lightweight clothing and waterproof, insulated boots.

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Gloves, a hat and a scarf -- anything to cover exposed skin -- will help prevent the loss of body heat.

Prepare your pets

Animals, like humans, are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. When temperatures dip dangerously low, it's best to keep your pets inside as much as possible.

Your pet might need some extra protection on its paws, and you might need to intervene to save the lives of other animals.

The Humane Society has advice here, and the ASPCA has advice here.



Red Cross Winter Storm Safety Checklist

OSHA's Tips to Protect Workers in Cold Environments

CDC Winter Weather Checklists

CDC Extreme Cold Guide (PDF)

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