Cold weather precautions urged

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 29, 2004

With temperatures that dipped into the low 20s Monday night, and another round of low temperatures expected in the mid to upper 20s tonight, the National Weather Service has issued freeze warnings for Covington County for the remainder of the week.

According to the NWS, as of 5 p.m., Monday afternoon, temperatures today are only expected to climb into the low 50s, with sunny skies. Tonight, the temperature is expected to drop to 25, with Wednesday a near carbon copy of today.

With clear skies, temperatures at night can fall quickly and reach cooler temperatures without a layer of cloud cover to protect the escaping heat from the Earth's surface.

Residents are urged to take precautions against the cold weather, by remembering the four "P's" of cold weather - people, pets, pipes and plants.

With colder temperatures, the elderly, the very young, and other people who may be unable to properly care for themselves, are at a greater risk for illnesses that come with cold weather. Residents are urged to check on their loved ones to make sure they have the proper heat and means to stay warm.

People are also reminded to take the proper precautions when it comes to their outdoor pets. If possible, bring the pets indoors. If that's not possible, placing a light in their doghouse or pen can keep them about 5 to 10 degrees warmer. Shredded newspapers and old blankets can also keep pets warm. However, some animals have allergies to certain fibers, so caution is urged when giving your pet a blanket to keep warm.

People are also encouraged to wrap their pipes with foam or another protective coating to keep them from busting. It is also recommended to keep water dripping in the faucets to prevent freezing.

Bringing plants indoors during cold weather is essential to many plants survival in extreme cold. Check with your local garden center or the instructions on your plants to prevent their freezing.

Temperatures for the remainder of the week are expected to be in the mid 50s for highs, and at or below freezing through Friday night.

For more information on the weather outlook for Covington County, visit the National Weather Service's website at