UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am
The Brazos Valley will be experiencing some freezing weather over the next few days in the low 20’s that constitutes a HARD FREEZE warning by the National Weather Service. Most citizens may not be prepared for such extreme weather. The Bryan Police Department and the College Station Police Department would like to remind our citizens to be prepared for such weather. Here are some cold weather safety tips:
1. Residential fires pose the greatest threat to life during cold outbreaks. Remember to keep flammable materials such as newspapers or clothing away from portable heaters. Make sure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly...especially when sleeping. Be extra careful with kerosene heaters! Make sure the room is well ventilated. These heaters give off toxic fumes that can make you sick or even kill you. Also, never use a charcoal grill to warm your house.
2. Make frequent checks of the elderly. Make sure their furnaces are working and heating the house properly.
3. Pets are also susceptible to cold weather. If they must stay outside...make sure there is a warm and dry shelter with sufficient food and unfrozen water.
4. Persons with delicate plants should take measures to protect them from the cold temperatures
5. If you must go outside...remember that several layers of clothes will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. A hat is also important since 20 percent of body heat loss is through the head.
6. Cold weather itself puts an extra strain on the heart. If you add to this the strain of heavy physical activity, you could be at risk for a heart attack.
7. Dress appropriately before going outdoors. The air temperature does not have to be below freezing for someone to experience cold emergencies such as hypothermia and frostbite. Wind speed can create dangerously cold conditions even when the temperature is not that low. Dress warmly in loose-fitting, layered, light-weight clothing. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat. Protect your face and cover your mouth to protect your lungs from very cold air. Wear mittens instead of gloves -- they allow your fingers to move freely in contact with one another and will keep your hands much warmer.
8. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Alcohol causes the body to lose its heat more rapidly -- even though one may feel warmer after drinking alcoholic beverages.
9. Keep your water pipes and spigots covered and insulated (newspaper and tape works well in a bind). Dripping your interior faucets can help prevent freezing in the pipes.
10. Be careful driving: especially over bridges, inclines and curves. During a hard freeze any water on the roadway will turn to ice and may be difficult to see. Drive very cautiously and take your time.
11. Do not de-ice your car windows with hot water, it will crack your windows due to temperate changes. Use an ice scraper and turn on your defrost in your vehicle.
12. Is it time to replace your car battery? Extreme cold weather is hard on car batteries. Your vehicle may not start if you battery is too old. Have jumper cables with you just in case.
13. Be prepared for power outages in your neighborhood due to falling trees or limbs near power lines. This can be due to winds or ice. Have blankets and warm clothing on hand to keep you warm. A flashlight is always good to have around.
14. Have a weather radio on hand that picks up national weather broadcasts on a special radio band or a battery operated radio to hear weather alerts.
The safety of our community does not have borders. It is the goal of every law enforcement agency to protect the citizens that we serve. Be the eyes and ears of your police department. When you see suspicious activity contact the College Station Police Department at 979-764-3600, the Texas A&M University Police Department at 979-845-2345, or the Bryan Police Department and the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office at 979-361-3888. Together we can make a difference in our community.
From National Weather Service