Brrr... Did you feel the temperature this week? Here in Dallas we had our first freeze of the season. My friends in Minot, North Dakota laughed when I told them about our 28-degree chill. For them, that's considered warm when the day's high reaches -10. But for us Dallas residents, home of your friendly Eagle Express Dallas Medical Courier Company, we have had an unusually warm start to fall. So, baby, it's cold!
As I watched the news the night before the freeze, I heard newscaster after newscaster explaining what to do in order to keep our homes, family, and even our plants safe. Were you paying attention? Good thing for you, the Dallas Medical Courier Company was taking notes. Here are the 4 P’s to remind you how to protect what’s important to you during the winter when temperatures dip below freezing.
Plants- When moisture freezes on plant leaves and buds, it has the potential to damage and even kill plants. The plants that are most susceptible are new plants, garden plants with fruits and vegetables, soft wood trees, and potted plants. If you have time to anticipate the freeze, you protect them. Covering plants is the best way to do this. Sure, you can run out to the hardware store and buy an expensive plant or shrub cover. Or, you can use what you have around the house. Bed sheets, newspaper, and burlap sacks are all great things to protect plants from frost. You want to stay away from plastic, though, as this can trap moisture and cause further damage.
Pipes- When temperatures drop below freezing, ice inside the pipes can accumulate and cause a blockage. The water pressure that builds up behind this blockage is what causes a pipe to burst. The pipes that are really at risk are those that are exposed to the elements- those that are outside or in unconditioned attics or basements. We don't generally have this problem in Dallas, but it is possible. One way to mitigate the issue is to keep cabinets open that contain the pipes. That way, warm air can circulate around the pipes. Another way is to keep the water running. Opening a faucet relieves some of the pressure that can build up if a blockage were to occur. However, if you're on water restriction, like most of DFW, this is not a good option.
Pets- If it's too cold for you, it's probably too cold for your pets- at least for an extended period of time. It's still ok to let your pets exercise in the cold, just make sure you are paying attention to not just the temperature, but the wind chill. If your pets do need to be outside for a period of time, say, while you're at work, make sure they have dry shelter. Additionally, make sure you are providing them enough water that is not frozen. Watch their paws, too. Paws are not as tender as bare feet, but they aren't water and cold-proof, either. Don't let pets walk too long on frozen ground or snow. Make sure you warm them back up slowly and keep them dry once you're back inside. The Dallas Medical Courier Company wants to remind you about antifreeze: it smells sweet and it attractive to pets. Be sure to clean up any spilled chemical to keep your pets, and any other pet that might be roaming around the neighborhood, safe.
People- While plants, pipes, and pets are important to the employees of your Dallas Medical Courier Company; we also want to make sure you know how to keep the people in your life safe when the weather turns cold. One of the biggest concerns is carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide is colorless, odorless, and even more prevalent in the winter months. Unvented furnaces and gas-powered appliances are the greatest culprits of CO poisoning. Make sure you are only bringing electric heaters into the home and that you turn your stove and fireplaces off when they aren’t in use. Also, keep your car's tailpipe is free of snow and debris, and never start your car in a closed garage. Watch your step on slick sidewalks. Layer up yourself and the kiddos when you go outside. But also enjoy the snow if we get any.
The folks at your Dallas Medical Courier Company sure are thankful for the cool weather. Just make sure you’re enjoying it safely.