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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 01/15/2009

How to Stay Safe and Warm in Extreme Cold

By Capital Weather Gang

* Bitter Cold Blasts Into Town: Full Forecast | Latest Inauguration Forecast *

Extreme cold can be dangerous and sometimes deadly. Lows in the single digits in many D.C. area locations tonight and tomorrow night (wind chills near or below zero), and highs scratching their way to get to 20 tomorrow (wind chills in the single digits), probably won't set any records. But they could still be life-threatening.

It's probably too late to take precautions like insulating your attic or having your car's radiator system serviced. But here are a few last-minute tips (some as easy as filling up your gas tank) to help keep you, your family and pets safe and warm -- outside, inside and in your car.

Keep reading for important extreme cold safety tips, and use the comments section to let us know if we missed anything...

Outdoor Safety

* Dress warmly and stay dry.
* Wear a hat, scarf, and mittens.
* Avoid frostbite.
* If you have to do heavy outdoor chores, dress warmly and work slowly.
* Avoid getting wet.
* Notify friends and family where you will be before you go hiking, camping, or skiing.
* If you are stranded, it is safest to stay in your car.

Courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More outdoor safety tips.

Indoor Safety

* Use fireplace, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak flue gas into the indoor air space.
* Never use a charcoal or gas grill indoors -- the fumes are deadly.
* Never leave lit candles unattended.
* Avoid opening doors and windows. Close off unneeded rooms.
* Check the temperature in your home often during severely cold weather.
* Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.
* Eat well-balanced meals to help you stay warmer.

Courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More indoor safety tips.

Car Safety

* Keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
* Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
* Check the air pressure in the tires.
* Check and add antifreeze if needed.

Courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More car safety tips.

More Cold Safety Tips from Earth Gauge

Home Fire Facts
Chillin' Winds
Extreme Cold Safety
Keep Pets Warm
Cold and Age

By Capital Weather Gang  | January 15, 2009; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Extreme Cold  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Inauguration Weather Forecast: Cold, Flaky?
Next: PM Update: Extreme Cold Arrives


Ah, the cold. I love it!

Posted by: thornwalker1 | January 15, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Mr_Q | January 15, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm with thornwalker1 - I want winter to FEEL like winter, for heaven's sake. I like the cold snaps as it reminds me that it's *actually* January. And I'm so deperate for snow that I was cheering the three whole flurries that I saw on my way to work at Fort Belvoir this morning...

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | January 15, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Man I wish this storm was 24 hours away instead of 324...

Posted by: Snowman_In_Herndon | January 15, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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