Tampa Bay is going to get very cold this week, and it's expected to stay cold throughout the rest of the week. A cold front is coming in this weekend. And while Hillsborough — the county Super Heat & Air calls home — is expecting temperatures in the low 40s, some of our neighbors in our northern Tampa Bay counties may experience temperatures in the upper 30s!
Buckle up and bundle up Tampa, it's going to be super chilly! When those temperatures hit the 40s and possibly even 30s in Tampa Bay, staying comfortable is important, but safety also has to be kept in mind.
There's no delicate way to put this: Hypothermia sucks. Hypothermia is the condition of having an abnormally low body temperature and typically happens during very cold weather, but can hit you even at cool temperatures.
Tampa Bay is no stranger to cold rain, and exposure to it can also cause hypothermia. If you're going to be outdoors, bundle up and if it rains in the cold temperature, stay dry with an umbrella and a raincoat. Symptoms of hypothermia may include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, slurred speech, cold pale skin and bluish lips. If you notice any symptoms of hypothermia on somebody you know, take the person's body temperature. If it's below 95°, it could be hypothermia and you should seek emergency assistance immediately!
You worked hard to grow that beautiful garden of fruits and flowers: don't let the cold kill them. Hard freeze temperatures can easily kill outdoor crops and plants. Before those freezing or near-freezing temperatures start nipping at and killing your plants, bring them indoors or cover them up if they need to stay in the ground.
When it's cold out there, bring your pets inside. Florida pets, like Floridians, are not used to the cold, so don't leave Fluffy outside to freeze! Dogs and cats may have fur, but it doesn't mean they will be fine if left outside. And like the people who love them, pets can suffer from hypothermia too, so keep your pets indoors and give them blankets to stay warm.
"It's Florida, man. Pipes can't freeze in Florida!" Well actually, they can! Exposed pipes can freeze and even burst. So when you get a ridiculously high water bill, slip on a puddle or have to bathe yourself with a bucket of water because your pipes busted, don't say we didn't warn you.
Keep children and pets away from your space heaters
Make sure your space heater is on a level surface
Move flammable items at least 3 feet away from your space heaters
Ensure that your space heater has an automatic shutoff that works
Check for the UL mark, which indicates that it has been tested for safety
Turn your space heater off before you leave
Use the space heater to warm bedding or dry clothes.
Cook food or thaw pipes with your space heater
Place near drapes or anything else that can catch fire
Leave cords where people can trip over them.
Use an extension cord to power your space heater
Run your space heater overnight
So Tampa Bay, before those very chilly temperatures start to kick in, here are a few questions to ask yourselves:
How will you be keeping warm?
Do you have enough blankets?
Are your blankets thick enough?
Are you wearing enough layers of clothing?
Do you have sufficient winter clothes?
Does your home have adequate heating?
Is your home properly insulated?
Can you help others stay warm?