Tips to keep safe during extreme cold snaps

Tips to keep safe during extreme cold snaps

Credit: Getty Images

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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by Jeff Thompson, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on February 5, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 10 at 11:15 AM

PORTLAND -- With sub-freezing Portland temperatures for the rest of the week and snow expected on the valley floor this weekend, several local agencies are offering tips to stay safe and protect your home.

The Red Cross recommends wearing many layers of light clothing, as well as gloves and a hat to help stay warm.

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The organization also reminds people to check on friends and family members who live alone or have mobility issues or special needs. Bring pets inside and move livestock to sheltered areas with access to water.

Click here for more on symptoms and prevention of frostbite and hypothermia 

To reduce fire risk during the winter, the Red Cross warns that you should never use a stove or oven to heat a home. Space heaters and fireplaces should be at least three feet away from any flammable items. And generators should never be used inside a home.

Click for more from the American Red Cross on home fire danger

The Portland Water Bureau offered some tips for saving money and avoiding costly household damage during extreme cold weather events:

  • Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms to allow pipes behind walls and under floors to get additional heat from inside the house.
  • Let a slight drip of water run from faucets when temperatures dip below freezing. This keeps water moving, making it less likely to freeze.
  • Outside the house, be sure to disconnect and drain hoses from faucets.

Click for more from the Portland Water Bureau on protecting your plumbing

The American Automobile Association suggests avoiding travel if possible during winter storms, but offers the following tips if you must drive somewhere:

Car Preparation

  • Be sure the battery is fully charged
  • Check all fluid levels
  • Check ignition wiring and lights
  • Be sure tires and brakes are in good condition
  • Be sure the windshield wipers are clean and working
  • Keep the fuel tank at least half full at all times
  • Add weight in the back of rear drive vehicles to improve traction

Winter Driving Kit

  • Tire chains
  • Abrasive material such as sand or kitty litter
  • Small shovel
  • Flashlight
  • Ice scraper
  • Rags
  • Blankets
  • Flares
  • Booster cables
  • Bottled water and snacks

More: Tips for winter driving 

Related: Snow moving in by this weekend

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