Are you prepared for the extreme cold?

Posted by LS - email

For road conditions, snow emergency levels and closings and delays, see the story Bitter cold temps here to stay for a while.

Prepare your home

HEAT: If you'll be using a fireplace, wood stove, or kerosene heater, make sure you have working smoke detectors and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated.

WATER PIPES: Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze. Also trickly your faucet to keep water water flowing through the pipes. Extreme cold can cause water pipes in your home to freeze and sometimes rupture. When very cold temperatures are expected, leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously. Keep the indoor temperature warm. Improve the circulation of heated air near pipes. For example, open kitchen cabinet doors beneath the kitchen sink.

If your pipes do freeze, do not thaw them with a torch. Instead, thaw them slowly by directing the warm air from an electric hair dryer onto the pipes.


  • Non-perishable food
  • A few gallons of stored water
  • an alternate way to heat your home during a power failure
  • dry firewood for a fireplace or wood stove, or
  • kerosene for a kerosene heater
  • furnace fuel (coal, propane, or oil)
  • electric space heater with automatic
  • shut-off switch and non-glowing elements
  • blankets
  • matches
  • multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher
  • first aid kit and instruction manual
  • flashlight or battery-powered lantern
  • battery-powered radio
  • battery-powered clock or watch
  • extra batteries
  • non-electric can opener
  • snow shovel
  • rock salt
  • special needs items (diapers, hearing aid batteries, medications, etc.)

Prepare your car

News 11 stopped at Wright Tire and Auto in Bowling Green for advice. They say the number one problem for people with temperatures like we're experienceing is car batteries. Older batteries or ones that need to be replaced in most cases can't handle temperatures like these.

In addition to making sure you have a strong battery, the guys at Wright have some recommendations to drivers during the winter.

"Have your car checked out and winterized. Make sure your antifreeze has been changed. Tires, breaks, all that stuff needs to be checked out and taken care of before you get out on these roads," said Julian Schrader.

AAA says the second biggest call they get are from people who need to be pulled out of ditches. They don't need to be towed, just pulled out of the mess. For more information on avoiding spinouts in these temperatures, read DRIVING ALERT: Road salt doesn't work in extreme cold.


  • blankets
  • first aid kit
  • a can and waterproof
  • matches (to melt snow for water)
  • windshield scraper
  • booster cables
  • road maps
  • mobile phone
  • compass
  • tool kit
  • paper towels
  • bag of sand or cat litter (to pour on ice or snow for added traction)
  • collapsible shovel

  • container of water and high-calorie canned or dried foods and a can opener
  • flashlight and extra batteries

  • canned compressed air with sealant (for emergency tire repair)

  • brightly colored cloth

Keep your body safe

Read the attached Extreme Cold Prevention Guide.