Another round of dangerous cold returns to Middle TN - WSMV Channel 4

Another round of dangerous cold returns to Middle TN

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Another batch of dangerously cold weather has made its way into Middle Tennessee.

Channel 4 Chief Meteorologist Lisa Spencer says the bitter cold is expected to stick around until Thursday.

When dealing with temperatures this low, the risk for hypothermia runs high. Seek medical attention immediately if you or someone around you has symptoms of hypothermia, which includes shivering, fatigue, loss of coordination or confusion.

Those with exposed skin can develop frostbite in 30 minutes. Symptoms for frostbite include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

If you see anyone outdoors who appears to be in distress or disoriented, or if you are at risk of exposure to the extreme cold, call Metro police for assistance at 615-862-8600.

The Metropolitan Homelessness Commission is operating an Extreme Weather Information Line for updated information on shelter beds. If you need shelter, that number is 615-800-0195.

Heating your home

Worried about your heating bill? Turn down the thermostat. Lowering the temperature just 1 degree could result in up to 3 percent in savings.

Also make sure to turn off nonessential lights, appliances, electronics and other electrical equipment.

Be careful when using space heaters. Keep them at least 3 feet away from anything flammable and make sure to turn them off before you leave a room or go to bed.

Check for cracks around your windows and doors. If you can, put an extra layer of caulk around windows to seal your heat in and keep cold out. If that doesn't work, you can take towels or blankets and stack them at the base of your door to keep drafts out.

If you are behind on your electric bill and are worried that you may get your heat shut off, call your electric company and let them know.

Keep your pipes from freezing

Freezing pipes become a huge issue when the temperatures get this low.

Here is some advice from Metro Water Services on how to prevent this from happening your home:

  • Keep faucets dripping so water keeps flowing through your pipes.
  • Keep cabinet doors open so warm air circulates around your plumbing.
  • Keep the meter box closed so cold air doesn't reach the meter or pipes.
  • Remove exterior hose connections and insulate hose bibs.
  • Insulate exposed water pipes.
  • Cover foundation vents and seal all cracks in exterior walls and foundation.
  • If you have a frozen pipe, wrap it with a heating pad or towels soaked in warm water so it thaws. You can also use a hair dryer. Never use an open flame.
  • Find the water shut-off valve inside your home. If you can quickly close this when a pipe bursts, you could prevent future damage.

Take precautions with your vehicle

Here is some advice from experts on what you can to do keep your car running safely during extremely chilly temperatures:

  • Always have at least half a tank of gas in the vehicle.
  • Make sure your antifreeze is full.
  • Make sure your windshield wiper fluid is full.

Protect animals from life-threatening cold

Don't forget about pets. Temperatures this low could be deadly for your furry friends.

Mt. Juliet Animal Services released this list of simple steps to help protect your animals during cold temperatures:

  • Keep pets inside. If animals can't be inside, provide a warm, comfortable place. Face shelter away from wind and provide a flap or door to help keep the animal's body heat inside.
  • Bedding is essential for insulation. It protects the animal from the snow and ice underneath the body and allows the animal to retain heat within the bedding.
  • Cats may sleep under the hoods of cars to stay warm. If you have outdoor cats in your area, check under the hood before starting your car.
  • Keep your pets secure in fencing or use a leash. Pets can lose their sense of smell and direction in the snow and ice, so they can become lost.
  • Wipe off your dog's legs and stomach after being outdoors to remove any ice, salt or chemicals.
  • Outdoor pets need more calories to produce body heat so extra food and water must be provided. Devices are now available to keep water dishes from freezing; if one is not available, fill and replace water frequently.

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