While winter is still technically more than a week away, these weather conditions definitely feel more like winter than fall, and with temperatures staying cool this week, it’s a great time to review cold weather tips:
- Check on elderly family members, friends or neighbors. Seniors and those with serious medical conditions are at risk. Check on community members that might be vulnerable to ensure they are safely keeping warm.
- Bring your pets inside when temperatures start to dip near freezing. A dog or cat left outside in severe cold weather can die quickly from exposure. Except for exercise and walks, all dogs and cats are safer indoors during the winter. Make sure they have a warm, draft-free place indoors with a dry mat or blanket that they can lie on. For additional winter weather tips for animals, check out the Bradshaw Animal Shelter’s website.
- Heat your home safely - carbon monoxide is a silent killer. It is not OK to heat the inside of your home with any kind of BBQ, propane heater, or any other fuel-fired equipment due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use heaters installed with your home and those designed to be used indoors. Make sure that your natural gas furnaces and other appliances are in good, clean working order.
- Insulate outdoor pipes that lead into your home to prevent freezing. Seal with caulk around the pipes that lead into and out of your home. Inside your home, leave the bathroom and under-sink cabinets open to help warm the water. If your pipes freeze, leave your tap on and call a plumber. You can defrost your pipes using a hairdryer on a low setting, working your way slowly from the faucet to where your pipe enters the wall. County residents who need to have their water turned off in order to make repairs to their lines can go online or call 311 (or 916-875-4311 if calling from out of the area).
- Ensure proper drainage by scooping up leaves and debris. Keeping storm drains clear can prevent street flooding and black ice from forming.
- When raining, reduce your vehicle speed. Wet roads increase the distance and time needed to stop your vehicle. Be extra cautious on roads, bridges and overpasses when temperatures are 32 degrees or below due to black ice – slow down and give yourself extra spacing between vehicles in front of you.
- Watch for tree limbs. As temperatures dip, trees become vulnerable to limbs snapping. For downed trees or branches in the roadway, County residents can go online or call 311 (or 916-875-4311 if calling from out of the area).
- Prepare for wind. Secure yard items that may blow around and be prepared for the possibility of loss of power. For downed power lines, stay away and call 9-1-1 immediately.
- Sign-up for Emergency Alerts. This system alerts residents about emergency events and other important public safety information quickly in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods.
- Where to get help. Call 211 in Sacramento or go online for information on emergency shelter services.
Learn more about how to stay safe during fog and cold weather on the Sacramento Ready website.