With dangerously cold temperatures on the way, officials warn folks to be mindful

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 5:24 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - With temperatures expected to drop into the single digits Saturday, folks should look ahead on how to prepare.

First, make sure your animals are cared for.

Kathryn Ravenscraft of Bangor Humane Society says to bring animals inside, but if for any reason that’s not possible, make sure they have shelter.

“For your cats, make up a cardboard box, cut a hole in it for entry, put some straw down on the bottom straw, not hay because hay will freeze if it gets wet. Put your box over it, cover it with a sheet or blanket, and it at least gives them some place to curl up. Those cold weather dogs, you need to make sure that they have a doghouse that sits a couple of inches up off of the ground so that it won’t get so cold. And again, you’re going to cover the floor of that with straw and blankets and make sure that there’s something covering the entrance, so tarp or a heavy piece of felt so that it blocks any wind from getting in. If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your animals,” said Ravenscraft.

Ravenscraft added animals burn calories to keep warm, so food and water are especially important.

There’s also your home to consider.

Issues with frozen pipes and space heaters can quickly lead to an emergency.

Hermon Fire Chief Cody Sullivan says in addition to having working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, keep these tips in mind.

“If you do have to use portable space heaters, we ask that people buy approved portable space heaters. They’re UL tested. Maintain a three-foot safety buffer around those. If your pipes do freeze, we ask people never thaw them with an open flame. If you do have to directly thaw them, a hairdryer or heat gun is the best bet. First and foremost, just passive heating with ambient air is the best way you can safely thaw your pipes,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan adds while Mainers can be used to the cold, these temperatures are no joke.

“If people do have to travel during this extremely cold weather, please be prepared with food, water, blankets and your vehicle. Being broken down for 10 or 15 minutes on the side of the road and it’s 80 degrees out is an inconvenience. With the temperatures we’re going to be facing, it’s dangerous. We’re really urging people to if they don’t have to go anywhere to please stay home and stay warm and stay safe,” said Sullivan.