EOC Update - Winter Weather
With a forecast calling for extremely cold temperatures and the possibility of frozen precipitation this week, Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller and Tangipahoa Parish Government’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness are closely monitoring the weather and encourage the public to do so, as well.
Miller said his office is working in close contact with the National Weather Service and will continue to monitor the situation throughout the next 36 hours. While the worst conditions are expected on the Parish’s far north end, parish leaders are taking precautions. Tangipahoa Parish Road and Bridge crews are on standby. Miller said if conditions warrant, crews will begin sanding roadways starting on the extreme north end before daylight Tuesday morning.Parish leaders are encouraging the public to make preparations today in advance of the weather system which is expected to arrive in our area late tonight and early Tuesday morning.
Miller encourages the public to make preparations by protecting the 4P’s—people, pets, pipes, and plants.
- Keep warm, stay inside if possible.
- If you need to go out, dress in layers and wear hats, gloves and an appropriate coat.
- Avoid overexertion, as cold weather puts added strain on your body.
- Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water.
- Keep heat sources at least 3 feet away from furniture and drapes.
- Never leave children unattended near a space heater.
Protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector and never using generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices indoors.
It is also recommended that you prepare your car for winter. Have your car serviced and add antifreeze as needed. Make sure battery terminals are clean and tightened -- you may even want to clean around terminals with an old toothbrush and a homemade mixture of baking soda and water. Keep in mind that you should replace your battery every three to four years. Make certain windshield wipers and defrosters are in good working order and the window washer reservoirs are filled.
Finally, keep emergency supplies at hand and stay informed about the weather conditions in our area. You can get additional information by visiting www.Tangipahoa.org.
The number one cold weather tip is to cover your plants with a frost cloth. It lets the plant breathe, but also holds a lot of heat. If you can't find a frost cloth, a sheet or a blanket works well. Just make sure the material allows your plants to breathe and that it isn't just sitting on top of the plants.
Number two, if there are potted plants you cannot move inside, then move potted plants to a spot where they're protected from the north wind. The wind causes a lot of frost damage, not necessarily the cold temperatures.
The third tip is to spread at least two to three inches of mulch to protect the roots of plants and trees. While you might get frost damage on top of the plant, but if the roots are protected then the roots can come back in the spring.
Finally, use water on plants. It goes against common sense, but watering your plants actually protects them from the cold.
- Disconnect outdoor hoses, drain and store in protected area.
- Wrap exposed faucets and pipes, including those outside the house or in unheated crawl spaces, attics, garages and other areas.
- If you have a pool, besides keeping the pump running, make sure all the valves are open as well.
- Bring pets inside, and move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas.
- Keep adequate food and water available
- Housing: Provide proper shelter for your pet whether they live indoors or outdoors. Indoor pets should have their bed or crate placed in a safe and warm place that is away from drafts. Outdoor pets should have a well insulated house that is wind and waterproof resistant and elevated off the ground so wind and moisture can't seep inside. Install a door flap to protect against drafts and gusts of wind. Extra blankets and straw will also help to increase your pet's warmth. Room and floor heaters should be kept away from your pet as they are an obvious fire hazard and can cause serious injuries as well.
- Food & Water: Make sure to provide fresh, clean water for your pet every day. Outdoor pets need to consume 25 to 50 percent more calories than usual because the cold weather tends to deplete their energy. Make sure to talk to your veterinarian to make sure what is right for your pet.
- Cats and Cars: Keep your cats indoors during the winter. Not only can outdoor cats freeze, they sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars to stay warm. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. Give an outdoor cat a chance to escape by banging loudly on the car hood before starting your car.
- Antifreeze: Dogs and cats are attracted to the sweet smell and taste of antifreeze which contains ethylene glycol. A tiny lick can kill your dog or cat so make sure to check your car for leaks on your driveway or gutter. Keep containers tightly closed and clean up spills immediately.
For more information, stay tuned to local media or visit www.tangipahoa.org, or the Tangipahoa Parish Government Facebook page.