Tampa Bay has gotten very cold this week, and it’s expected to stay cold throughout the rest of the week. Another cold front is coming in this weekend. While Hillsborough — the county Super Heat and 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 30s tonight.
Buckle up and bundle up, Tampa; it will be (no pun intended) Super chilly tonight and possibly again this weekend with another cold front coming in. When those temperatures hit the 40s and possibly even 30s in Tampa Bay, staying comfortable is important, but safety must also be kept in mind.
Here are some things to keep in mind when the cold hits Tampa Bay tonight:
There’s no delicate way to put this: Hypothermia sucks. Hypothermia, having an abnormally low body temperature, typically happens at frigid temperatures but can hit you even at cool temperatures.
Considering how there’s an evil and powerful El Niño happening this year, Tampa Bay will be no stranger to cold rain, which exposure to 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 temperature. If it’s below 95°, it’s time to call 911 immediately.
You worked hard to grow that beautiful garden of fruits and flowers: don’t let the cold kill them. Hard freeze temperatures can quickly 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 bathe yourself with a bucket of water, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Heaters from Hell
Space heaters are notorious for being unsafe and for causing home and office fires. Before you use a space heater to keep your place warm, here are some Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind:
- 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 friends of Tampa Bay, before those very chilly temperatures start to kick in, or instead continue chilling us out, here are a few questions to ask yourselves:
- How will you keep warm?
- Do you have enough blankets?
- Are your blankets thick enough?
- Are you wearing enough layers of clothing?
- Do you have good winter clothes?
- Does your home have adequate heating?
- Is your home adequately insulated?
- Can you help someone else stay warm?
Stay safe outdoors tonight in the cold Tampa Bay. And remember, if your home heater is not working correctly, call Super Heat & Air to fix it!
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