SAN ANGELO, Texas — The National Weather Service of Abilene and San Angelo reported that the season’s first big cold front is expected to hit Texas early Thursday, delivering freezing temperatures that could possibly run through Saturday.
According to a Facebook post by the agency, projected temperatures are to be as low as single digits with wind chill to put some areas in the negatives throughout the state. EverythingLubbock.com’s affiliate, Concho Valley Homepage, has gathered tips from the NWS to put them all together here for our readers so they can take care of what’s important during the cold weather.
Keeping yourself and others warm
Knowing the difference between “chilly”, “cold” and “extreme cold” can be helpful for people who plan to go outside when it is freezing. The NWS recommends always having long layers on. Under “Chilly” conditions, have 1-2 layers including an outer layer to keep out the wind and rain. Then, have long pants and warm shoes to complete the outfit.
When the weather is deemed “cold”, the recommendation on top of the “chilly” category is to add at least one more layer, which can include a heavier jacket to help keep out wind or wet snow. Along with an extra layer of pants, add gloves and a hat to your outfit to keep you covered.
Lastly, when the weather is extremely cold, NWS recommends adding one more layer on top for extra insulation to keep the heat within your layers and on your body. Finish it off with a facemask and good pair of waterproof boots in case of snow or rain.
Winterizing your home
There are various tasks you can do to prepare your home for the winter weather as listed above. Cleaning out your chimney and gutters prevents ice dams and critters who may try to make it their home. Going inside, make sure the attic is insulated, it should be well-ventilated and about 10 degrees warmer than the temperature outside.
Make sure to have your pipes protected, those exposed on the outside of your home can be wrapped in insulation to protect them. Drain, wrap and put away the garden hose and then put a cover on the water valve. When the weather does drop below freezing, drip the faucets in the home to help prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting.
Furthermore, to keep the warm air in and the cold out, caulk and put weather strips on your doors and windows.
Don’t forget your pets
Of course, the favorite furry members of the family can not be forgotten. A common misconception is that dogs and cats can survive in the cold because of their coats. This is not the case as the cold, windy weather can be deadly for them. Keep the furry friends inside whenever possible, if not then an area where they can be warm and dry. Provide plenty of food and water as dehydration is dangerous in the winter. Lastly, if they are ever outside, make sure to thoroughly clean them, including the paws, before bringing them back in.