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It’s about to get frosty outside

Okay, so we’ve had quite a cold spell here in Johnson County already this fall, but temperatures in the area are about to take a dip in the next few days.

It’s important to know how to keep yourself and your family safe as very low temperatures mix with high winds.

If you’re going to be outside in the cold, you need to protect against dehydration, frostbite and hypothermia. You can stave these by:

  • Wearing several layers of clothing, instead of one or two bulky layers.
  • Wearing a hat and/or scarf to prevent losing body head from an uncovered head.
  • Avoiding consumption of alcoholic beverages. Drinking alcohol may create the feeling of warmth even when you are actually cold or injured.
  • Avoiding wet clothes, shoes or socks, as they may contribute to further loss of body heat.
  • Using mittens — they are better than gloves.
  • Preventing frostbite by using insulated gloves and socks to protect fingers and toes. Also, a scarf or face mask maybe aid to prevent frostbite risks to the nose or ears.
  • Drinking warm liquids such as tea or hot chocolate. The sugar in these beverages may also help generate additional body heat.

When you’re home, here are some tips to prevent cold-related disasters. No one enjoys frozen water pipes. Extreme cold can cause water pipes in your home to freeze and sometimes burst. Here’s some helpful prevention tips:

  • Leave water taps slightly open so they drip continuously, even over night.
  • Keep the indoor temperature warm.
  • Improve the circulation of heated air near pipes. For example, leave kitchen cabinets open beneath the kitchen sink.

For more cold weather tips, visit the winter weather webpage online.

For those residents who may need a warm place to stay during the day, the county’s library buildings also serve as warming centers. Visit the county’s warming center page online. It has the names, locations and phone numbers for warming centers.