Western New Yorkers will face bitterly cold wind chills through Friday morning. So here's some cold-weather advice for you, your pet and your car.
- Limit the amount of time you are outside.
- Cover up skin to limit exposure when you are outdoors.
- Wear multiple layers of clothing and keep your head covered with a hat.
- Keep an emergency supply kit in your home for the winter. Here's what the Red Cross says you should have: at least a three-day supply of water, with 1 gallon per person per day; at least a three-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food; flashlight; battery-powered or hand-crank radio; extra batteries; a 7-day supply of medications and other medical items; a multi-purpose tool; sanitation and personal hygiene items; copies of personal documents; a cell phone and charger; family and emergency contact information; extra cash; baby supplies, like bottles and diapers; pet supplies; sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter for walkways; warm clothing and extra blankets for all household members; ample alternate heating methods, like a fireplace or wood-burning stove.
First, a basic rule: if you think it's too cold for you to be outside for any real length of time, it's also too cold for your pet.
Here's some other winter-weather advice from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:
- Towel dry your pet as soon as he or she comes inside, especially on their feet.
- On long walks, bring a towel to clean off your pet's paws, which may be irritated by ice-melting materials on the street and sidewalk.
- Wash and dry your pet's feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals.
- Check for cracks in paw pads or redness between your pet's toes.
- Feed your pet a little more during cold weather months because they burn extra energy trying to stay warm.
- Don't leave pets alone in your car.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to help prevent your fuel line from freezing.
- Fully clean snow and ice from your vehicles before driving.
- Make sure tires are properly inflated.
- Make sure you have sufficient supplies of windshield-washer fluid and anti-freeze.
- Don't run your vehicle in an enclosed area.
- Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. According to the Department of Homeland Security, it should include: a shovel; windshield scraper; flashlight; battery-powered radio; extra batteries; water; snack food; matches; extra hats, socks and mittens; a first aid kit with a pocket knife; necessary medications; at least one blanket; tow chain or rope; road salt and sand; booster cables; emergency flares; a fluorescent distress flag.
- Don't use cruise control while driving on any slippery surface.