Dangerously cold temperatures coming this weekend to northern Missouri, wind chills as cold as 30 degrees below zero

Dangerously Cold Weather Graphic
The overnight low temperatures this coming weekend to northern Missouri will dip well below zero so be sure you and your family are prepared.  The number-one thing you can do to protect yourself and your family against the extreme cold is to plan ahead and prepare before the cold temps hit.

 

Saturday and Sunday nights of this week, the overnight lows are predicted to hit -14 on Saturday night and -11 on Sunday night.  Add in the wind chill from even light winds, and you get a mixture of very dangerous temperatures.  The National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, Missouri is currently predicting wind chills of 20 to 30 degrees below zero.

 

Your vehicle should already be protected with anti-freeze since we are well into winter, however, the anti-freeze level needs to be checked in order to protect your vehicle from these extraordinary temperatures.  To ensure your vehicle is ready for this weekend, you might stop in at the local gas station and have them check the anti-freeze level in your vehicles. You can do this yourself as well, just stop by your auto parts store and pick up an inexpensive gauge. The parts store might also check this for you too if you ask.  Ensuring the anti-freeze level is correct for your vehicle will literally prevent thousands of dollars in damage.

 

Make sure your pipes are protected from freezing, you can also leave a small stream of cold water running.  Cold water draws from the supply line to the home and ensures water is moving in pipes from the street level.  You can leave your kitchen sink running very slowly.  Some people, in addition to the kitchen sink also leave a small stream of water running from the bathroom sink as well.

 

Hypothermia often occurs in the extreme cold if someone has to be outside in this type of weather. If a person becomes wet. Its most frequent victims include those who are the elderly with inadequate clothing, food, or heat sources. The very young in cold bedrooms or those that are outside for too long such as hunters.

 

In addition to the standard necessities of emergency supplies, a winter weather and extreme cold kit should include:

 

  • A minimum of three days worth of non-perishable foods that don’t need to be cooked or prepared (things like canned vegetables, dried fruits, and jerky)
  • A minimum of five gallons of water for each person in the household
  • Any medication that’s medically necessary
  • A heat source that doesn’t require electricity (examples include wood stoves, kerosene heaters, and propane heaters)
  • Fuel for your non-electric heat source
  • Electric heaters
  • Blankets
  • FIre extinguisher
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Non-electric can opener
  • List of important phone numbers (in case you lose power and your cell phone dies)
  • Snow shovel
  • Rock salt
  • Any special needs, including things like hearing aid batteries, blood-glucose measuring devices, or a cane

If children live in the house, be sure to include specialty items you may need – like diapers, baby formula, and baby food. For older children, make sure to include a few board games, a deck of cards, and a book or two to entertain them and keep them from going stir crazy.

When the extreme cold arrives, your primary heat source may not be enough to keep your home warm, especially if strong winds are present. If you must use secondary heat sources, be sure to follow all safety precautions.

Heaters that use fuel, such as kerosene and propane, may require ventilation to allow gas byproducts to escape. With electric space heaters, ensure they’re at least three feet away from furniture, curtains, and blankets, which become fire hazards.

Do not heat your home with the oven or stove, a grill, or any gas-powered outdoor heater.

When it comes to frostbite, the affected extremities often hurt and turn red. As the condition progresses, their coloring turns white or greyish yellow and the area in question becomes numb. The skin begins to feel firm or waxy.

As soon as the signs of frostbite appear, check for hypothermia immediately, as it’s more life-threatening and needs to be addressed first.

If frostbite has affected the toes, try not to walk on them, as it could create more damage. Bring the person into a warm room and submerge the damaged area in warm, not hot, water. Use body heat to warm the cold tissue by placing the cold extremities between the thighs or under the arm.

Overall, common sense will be key to getting through this weekend.  Check on your neighbors, especially if they are elderly as they have a very difficult time with these temperatures.