Extremely cold weather is hard enough but top it off with wind chill factors and you have a dangerous scenario that needs constant monitoring. January has left Ohioans out in the cold with continuous sub-zero temperatures and is expected to last through the end of the month.
While the clock is ticking there are many things each of us can do to stay warm and safe. Cover windows, door frames and any crack or crevice letting in air so the extreme cold doesn't take over your home.
Remember the coldest part of the house is the north facing side and is most vulnerable to extreme cold. Water pipes on this side of the home need to be monitored regularly to keep from freezing and busting water pipes. They should be covered in heat tape or insulation and as an added precaution keeping faucets at a steady drip will help keep the water from freezing.
In case water in the pipes freeze, it is wise to have gallons of water in empty containers such as milk and juice jugs. Keep those inside from freezing.
Check your home, pets and the elderly during extreme cold temperatures especially in weather-related emergencies. Outdoor animals who cannot come inside need extra hay and food and their water needs checked more often so that it isn't frozen. Animals need extra layers of hay not blankets. If blankets become wet pets and livestock will freeze.
Dress properly before going outside in the extreme cold even if its for a minute or two. Your skin, fingers and nose can freeze quickly and cause frostbite. Before going out put on warm clothing, a hat, gloves, coat and a scarf to protect your lungs from the dangerously cold winds. While outside take a container of water to refill pet dishes making sure they have plenty of fresh water.
Be a good neighbor. Check on neighbors, especially the elderly and disabled or those living alone. Make sure they have what they need including food, medicines and are warm.