Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 31, 2012

Stay safe from cold


— The Kokomo area has yet to see a repeat of the winter of 2010-11 (knock on wood). But bitter cold is expected to linger this week like wood smoke on a sweater, the National Weather Service says.

Wind chills near zero degrees or below are possible tonight and again near the weekend.

As you venture out this morning, layered lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. Gloves or mittens and a hat will help you to avoid losing body heat.

Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.

Here are some other tips from the American Red Cross:

• Prevent frozen pipes by opening cabinet doors to let warm air circulate. Let the cold water drip from the faucet to keep pipes from freezing.

• Keep the thermostat set to a consistent temperature.

• Don’t forget your pets. Bring them indoors if you can, but if you can’t, be sure they have adequate shelter and access to unfrozen water.

And though winter’s worst has yet to arrive, keep your car’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.

Let someone know your destination, the route you expect to follow and when you expect to arrive so that if you slide off the road along the way, rescuers will know where to look.

No strong wind gusts are predicted, thankfully. But when they crop up in a forecast, the Red Cross has some advice to keep you safe until power returns:

• Do not use candles for lighting. Use flashlights only.

• If you are using a portable generator, do not connect it to your home’s electrical system. Instead, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

• Leave one light turned on so you will know when your power returns.

• Turn off or disconnect appliances or electronics you were using when the power went out. Surges or spikes when the power comes back on can damage your equipment.

• Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Use perishable foods in the refrigerator first. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours.

Stay warm and stay safe.