Tips for this week’s cold weather

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 1, 2018

SALISBURY — Rowan County Emergency Services distributed a warning Sunday for rapidly falling temperatures throughout the week.

A cold arctic airmass settled over the region Sunday, heralding the onset of a cold wave pattern that will linger throughout the week. A cold wave is defined as average daily temperatures 12 degrees or more below normal mid-January average daily temperatures for 48 hours or longer.

According to the bulletin, the cold weather will likely result in high demand for electricity across the region. Power outages may result from the heavy electrical load. Those who require electricity for heating or medical equipment should consider having backup heat or electrical sources available.

Possible hazards

  • Extended period of sub-freezing temperatures that could lead to hypothermia or burst water pipes.
  • Wind chill values that could cause frostbite if exposure is not limited.
  • Dry air will increase the possibility of fires — use caution with space heaters in order to avoid fire or injury.

Suggested precautions

Rowan County Emergency Services personnel advise residents to take steps now to protect your property and health from the extreme cold.

  • If you go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf.
  • If driving, keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Check your antifreeze and windshield washer fluid levels.
  • Be sure to carry a fully charged cell phone.
  • Emergency generators must be situated outdoors in well-ventilated areas to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • While at home, consider allowing indoor plumbing fixtures to drip to permit water to trickle through pipes and inhibit freezing.
  • Remember to check in on family, friends and elderly neighbors who might be susceptible to the cold.
  • Do not forget about your pets and livestock. Make sure they have a source of water that will not freeze and a warm place to take shelter from the wind and cold.
  • Do not attempt to walk on frozen ponds, lakes or streams, as the ice will not be thick enough to support the weight  — even of a child.