When the Temperature Drops, Remember the Four P’s
With the temperature starting to drop, it’s definitely time to begin thinking about the proper safety measures needed to survive the inclement weather. No need to get overwhelmed, just remember to take care of the “Four P’s”: people, pets, pipes, and plants!
In order to be able to take care of all the other things on your plate, you first need to make sure you are taken care of. Obviously, you should avoid going outside in frigid temperatures. However, if it is completely unavoidable, make sure you are fully covered with multiple layers before venturing outdoors. You should also look out for others. Check on your neighbors if possible, especially if they are elderly and cannot attend to their own needs as easily as someone younger would.
Think of your pets as your children– would you leave your child outside in below-freezing temperatures? No! Never! So, make sure that you bring your pets indoors. If that is not possible, your pets should at least have an enclosed structure to keep them out of the harshest of the elements. You can add blankets, towels, and hay to keep them warm and dry. Similarly, you’ll want to make sure they have extra food, as they burn calories quicker in the cold.
Protecting your pipes is also protecting your home. Busted pipes are one of the leading causes of home damage in cold weather. Therefore, it is important to make sure you are keeping them warm and the water flowing. The Red Cross has put together a list of tips to prevent frozen pipes.
- If there are water supply lines in the garage, keep the garage doors closed.
- To allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors.
- Turn on the faucets and let the water trickle very slowly through the pipes continuously. This will help keep them from freezing.
- This one may not be so friendly on your wallets, but it is best to keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both night and day.
- If you’ll be heading to someplace warmer, leave your heat on at a temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Your plants suffer from the cold weather as much as you do! When the temperature plummets, the plant cells become frozen and cause the nutrients and water to stop flowing. And although it may be your first instinct, do not bring any of your plants inside. The sudden change in temperature can be deadly. Instead, you should continue watering your plants in the daytime when it’s warmer and cover your plants with a sheet or some type of fleece cover.
When temperatures start to drop, it may get overwhelming trying to figure out all that you need to do to stay safe. However, all you have to do is remember the “four p’s” and you should be all set!
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