NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Dangerously cold weather is coming to Connecticut on Friday and Saturday, with wind chills making it feel close to -30 degrees.
Thursday is the day to get your house and car ready for severe conditions.
According to Storm Team 8, the arctic front comes through after midnight on Friday with strong winds and possible snow squalls. Temperatures will start falling into the teens by Friday afternoon, with winds increasing to 20 to 40 MPH. The wind chills in the afternoon on Friday will be 0 to -10 degrees and -10 to -30 on Friday night.
Saturday is also going to be bitterly cold, with wind chills ranging from -10 to -30.
The state’s severe cold weather protocol is in effect from noon on Thursday through noon on Sunday, Feb. 5. During a severe weather protocol, state agencies and municipalities coordinate with United Way 2-1-1 and shelters so that vulnerable populations are safe.
Anyone in need is urged to call 2-1-1 or visit 211ct.org to find emergency shelters, warming centers, and other services.
- People and pets should stay indoors and wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothes.
- Check on elderly neighbors and relatives
- Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling
How to stay warm if you have to be outside
- Wear layered clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat
- Cover your mouth to protect your lungs
- Stay dry
- Stretch before you go outside
- When outside, stay active to maintain body heat
- Drink warm liquids, but avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Get out of the cold if showing signs of hypothermia or frostbite appear
How to prepare your house
- Weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out
- Make sure you have enough heating fuel
- If your power goes out, here are some tips:
- Don’t drive unless necessary as traffic lights will be out
- Turn off and unplug appliances, equipment, and electronics
- During a prolonged outage, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible
- If using a generator, keep it dry
How to keep pets safe
- Take your animals out for very brief walks
- Protect your pet’s paws by putting having them wear booties while outdoors
- If your dog does not wear booties, make sure to wipe their paws down when they come back inside as clean-up and coolant are highly toxic to pets
- Cover their fur with a coat – especially for short-haired dogs
- Even for dog breeds who love the cold, keep them inside as the temperatures will be too cold for them
How to protect frozen pipes
Connecticut Water issued a frozen pipe alert Friday night into Saturday.
Homeowners are encouraged to take steps to prevent damage inside and outside the home. Here are eight tips to prevent freezing water pipes:
- Locate the shutoff valve and ensure it works properly in case of an emergency.
- Protect outside pipes and faucets. If there is a separate shutoff valve for the outside faucet, turn it off and drain the lines. If not, wrap and insulate outside faucets or hose bibs.
- Check for broken windows or damaged skirting that might cause freezing to your pipes or meter in your basement or crawl space.
- Caulk around pipes where they enter the house. Seal cracks or holes in windows, walls, or doors near the meter or pipes.
- Make sure room heat can circulate freely around the meter and water pipes.
- Leave cabinet doors open where there is plumbing when the temperature is below freezing to allow more heat to the pipes.
- Wrap interior pipes with insulation, particularly in unheated areas like the garage, basement, or crawl space.
- Homeowners that have had problems in the past with pipes freezing may want to let the water run at a slow rate in extreme cold. The extra cost of your water bill will be minimal compared to the cost of repairing a broken pipe. Homeowners can use a bucket or container to catch the dripping water and reuse it for another purpose.
Emergencies can be reported to Connecticut Water 24/7 by phone at 1-800-286-5700.
The Regional Water Authority also offered tips to protect home plumbing from freezing. The most vulnerable areas include those outside of the home, and water supply lines in unheated areas like basements, attics and kitchen cabinets.
- Wrap exposed pipes with insulating material. Even newspaper can help in a pinch.
- Eliminate cold air sources near water lines by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces and getting rid of drafts near doors.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children.
- If your home does not have indoor shut-off valves for your outdoor spigots, winterize them by purchasing insulation kits, also referred to as domes or caps.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing. A bucket or other container can be kept under the dripping faucet to collect water for later use, such as watering plants, ensuring it does not go to waste.
- Ensure water meter vault covers are not cracked. If the meter is installed outside the home, it is housed inside a covered vault. Check to be sure that the vault cover is secure and is protecting the meter from freezing.
- The RWA advises anyone away from home during cold weather to have a friend, relative or neighbor regularly check their property to ensure the heat is working and the pipes have not frozen.
Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basements, or other partially enclosed areas
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