CHECK LIST: What to watch for during the arctic cold outbreak

CHECK LIST: What to watch for during the arctic cold outbreak

In the interest of keeping you safe and warm this next week, we've come up with a list of things (in no specific order) to take care of. You've probably heard of a few (or most) of these already.

1. PETS: Once temperatures drop into the 20s, that's dangerous for most breeds of dogs. Give your pet a warm place to stay.

2. PIPES: Let them drip or gently stream, especially if pipes run outside. It might also be a good idea to leave the cabinet open to allow warm air to flow.

3. PEOPLE: Check on the elderly or less fortunate, and make sure that they are warm/have a warm place to be.

4. PLANTS: If you still have plants that are sensitive to the cold, cover them up or bring them in (if you can).

5. PRESSURE: Check your tire pressure ahead of time. It might not be a bad idea to have a pair of jumper cables around, in case the cold air stunts your car's battery. (That just happened to me earlier this week.)

6. PREPARE: I know that sounds all Armageddon-like, but this is just in case you get stuck somewhere. Have blankets, food, medicine, drink, etc with you/in your car.

7. POWER: TVA has said that the power demand is very high. So be sure to budget carefully this coming week, if that's your main source for heating the house. Delay washing clothes or running the dishwasher until after peak power usage times (6-9 a.m. especially).

8. PREVENT: With these Arctic air masses, the air is also very dry. Avoid taking long, hot showers as that will more than likely dry out your skin. (Again, I speak from personal experience.) In addition, you'll spending more time indoors. This can mean more allergies creeping up from dust mites and pet dander. If you have a humidifier, that might help you. Or, you can go the medical route and find an allergy medicine that works best for you. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.

9. POUND: I've been told to pound on the hood of your car. Sounds silly, but there's a reason for it. Sometimes, animals crawl under the hood of a car to keep warm. Rather than kill the animal, or risk injury to yourself - a brief hit of the car hood might wake them up and tell them to get out.

10. PRESERVE: In the interest of saving your phone, iPod, iPad, GPS, etc. battery - take those items out of the cold car. Cold weather is known to drain electronic's battery.

None of this is brought up to 'hype up the weather.' We fully understand that it is winter, but we also understand that it's been a long time since we've seen this kind of prolonged cold spell. For more details on the forecast, be sure to always check right here.

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