Keeping Yourself, Your Pets And Your Home Safe In Cold Weather - KMSP-TV

TIPS: Keeping Yourself, Your Pets And Your Home Safe In Extreme Cold Weather

Posted: Updated:

Officials in several areas have declared "Code Blue" cold weather emergencies as temperatures continue to drop this week.

Below, we've listed information, links and tips to help you stay safe and keep your home warm this winter.

Staying Safe In The Extreme Cold:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Extreme Cold Prevention Guide

A prevention guide from the CDC to promote health and safety during extreme cold conditions. The guide includes steps to take before and during a storm, car safety tips and a winter weather checklist.

Keeping Your Pets Safe In The Cold Weather:

ASPCA Cold Weather Tips

The ASPCA offers several tips to keep your pets safe in the cold weather, including never leaving your dog or cat alone in a car, keeping them away from antifreeze and making sure your companion has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts.

You can read the full list of ASPCA tips on the ASPCA website.

Additionally, Melissa Levy, Executive Director of PAWS, offered the following tips:

 - If it's too cold for people to be outside, then it's too cold for cats and dogs to be outside.

 - Dogs will show signs of being cold and will shiver, just like people do. Keep a close eye on your dogs when you are outside with them.

 - Salt on the roads and sidewalks can harm your pet. After a walk, wipe the pads of your dog's paws to keep the salt from irritating them and to minimize the risk of your dog eating the salt and becoming ill.

 - Outdoor cats will hide under the hoods of cars to keep warm. Before starting your car, bang on the hood to scare away any animals.

Tips For Your Home During The Winter:

Preventing water pipes from freezing:

Roto-Rooter Plumbers have offered the following tips to help you prevent a disaster:

 - Disconnect outside water hoses. If left connected, water in the hoses will freeze and expand causing outside faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break. Cover outside faucets using a faucet insulation kit found at home centers.

 - If outside faucets are dripping or leaking, make the necessary repairs or call a plumber before freezing temperatures arrive.

 - If your washing machine is in your unheated garage, turn off water supply lines leading to the washer and disconnect the hoses if temperatures are expected to drop below freezing.

 - Allow a trickle of hot and cold water to drip overnight in sinks and bathtubs with supply pipes that run along outside walls. However, be careful not to run the water into a drain if the drain line runs through an under-insulated outside wall and is exposed to extreme cold -because the drainpipe could freeze and cause back-ups.

 - Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets under sinks to allow heat in the room to circulate around uninsulated pipes.

 - Add insulate to water pipes in unheated areas, such as garages or crawl spaces. Apply heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables around water supply pipes that are exposed and prone to freezing.

 - Be sure the furnace is turned on and set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

What to do if your pipes have already frozen

 - Shut-off the water main leading into the structure. This will reduce pressure on the frozen pipes and minimize flooding if the pipes burst. This is particularly important if you are going to be away from home.

 - If the frozen pipe is exposed and visible, use a hair dryer or space heater to thaw the ice blockage. Do not use an open flame!

 - Examine exposed pipes for leaks. Even with the water main turned off, there will be enough pressure to reveal leaks once the pipe has thawed.

 - Contact a professional plumber equipped with pipe-thawing equipment to get your pipes flowing again and if necessary, make repairs to damaged pipes.

 - Even if no leaks are found, a plumber should examine pipes that experienced a hard freeze. Some pipes may need to be replaced since the material has experienced stretching and fatigue, putting the pipes at risk for future failure.

Tips for heating and cooling your home:

Tips: Heating and cooling your home from

Includes heating and cooling tips, such as using a programmable thermostat, cleaning or replacing filters or furnaces, keeping draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and other tips.

Cold Weather Emergencies In Our Area:

Montgomery County

On Sunday, a Cold Blue Cold Weather Emergency went into effect in Montgomery County and remains in effect through 9 a.m. Wednesday.

County officials say they have issued the weather emergency based on weather forecasts, which suggested the air temperature and wind child could drop to 20 degrees or less.

You can find general cold weather information on the Montgomery County Health Department website.

Burlington County

Health officials in Burlington County have declared a Code Blue Cold Weather Emergency that goes into effect Sunday at 8 p.m. through 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The Burlington County Health Department says short-term and emergency shelters are made available during a Code Blue Weather Emergency.

For more information or a list of shelters, you can call the county at 856-234-8888 or 866-234-5006.

Camden County

Officials in Camden County say they have extended the "Code Blue" severe weather advisory for Camden County from 6 p.m. Wednesday through 6 a.m. Saturday.


In Philadelphia, the Office of Supportive Housing tells FOX 29 a Code Blue Alert is set to go in effect Sunday at 6 p.m. due to the severe cold weather expected. If you see a homeless person on the street, you're asked to call the Office of Supportive Housing at 215-232-1984.

You can read more about a Code Blue Alert in Philadelphia on the city's website.

Tips and other information

You can ready more about cold weather, preventative measures and safety on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Check the weather in your neighborhood on the Weather page.

Sign up for weather alerts from

  • Caitlin RothMore>>

  • Tips To Prepare For A Hurricane

    Tips To Prepare For A Hurricane

    Sunday, October 28 2012 12:23 PM EDT2012-10-28 16:23:00 GMT
    The National Weather Service says the latest storm track for Hurricane Sandy "poses a direct threat to our region."
    The National Weather Service says the latest storm track for Hurricane Sandy "poses a direct threat to our region."
Powered by WorldNow

11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices