Cleveland city officials provide safety tips ahead of extremely cold temperatures

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

CLEVELAND -- City of Cleveland officials are providing residents with winter safety tips in preparation for the extreme cold temperatures headed to northeast Ohio next week.

City officials are held a press conference Friday at 4 p.m. to help Clevelanders prepare for the upcoming weather.

According to our FOX 8 meteorologists, next week temperatures are expected to drop below zero during mid-week.  These could be some of the coldest temperatures we've experienced in the last four to five years.

The long range outlook also shows the cold continuing into early February.

It is important to take proper safety precautions during periods of extreme cold.  

Cleveland Water officials say that with cold temperatures comes an increase in water main breaks, which can cause icing in the streets and leave residents with low water pressure. If you see leaks in the street or running water please contact authorities.

Frigid temperatures and wind chill can also trigger freezing pipes.  To prevent pipes from freezing disconnect outside hoses, shut off water supply to outside spigots and seal off cracks in doors and windows.  If possible try to wrap uninsulated plumbing and, if you're susceptible to freezing plumbing, keep a small stream of water running through your pipes at all times.

The department of aging also reminds residents to bundle up.  Almost all cases of hypothermia and frostbite are preventable. If you must be outside, dress appropriately: wear loose fitting layers to provide overall body warmth, a hat, scarf, mittens and boots will provide additional protection from the elements. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

Additionally, infants and the elderly are most at risk for cold-related illness. Keep in touch with elderly or at-risk neighbors or relatives, making sure they are safe and that their homes are adequately heated.

The department advises that homes be kept at 68 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer and that all residents prepare for the possibility of a power outage.  They suggest having enough food and water for 48 hours, as well as flashlights, working batteries, and emergency contact information written down, not just saved in a cell phone.

Cold weather can also put a strain on your heart. Follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or other strenuous work. Many injuries result from falls on ice-covered surfaces.

Cleveland Public Power officials also want to remind residents to use their space heaters and electric blankets safely.  Always unplug these items when they are not in use and keep heaters at least three feet away from flammable objects.

They also say to not use natural gas or ovens to heat your homes.

Lastly, the Department of Public Services reminds citizens that the city's 22 recreational centers will be open to the public as warming centers this weekend during standard hours of operation.

All local shelters are also on emergency weather protocol, meaning no one will be turned away.

Workers will also be out addressing weather related issues.  Public works reminds citizens to slow down, exercise due care and follow signage when approaching work zones.

You can watch the full press conference in the video below:

Click here for the latest forecast information.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.