How to protect yourself and your pets from the upcoming freezing temperatures

Reporter: Lauren Leslie Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

Most of us aren’t used to dealing with low temperatures in Florida. Health experts want to remind you to take precautions when venturing into the cold this weekend.

A blast of arctic air will bring bone-chilling temps to Southwest Florida.

Temperatures could be downright dangerous, so here’s what you can do to be safe.
Get ready to bundle up.

Kristine Hollingsworth, with the Florida Department of Health in Collier County, said, “hypothermia can set in at temperatures of 40°f and lower.”

With the cold and potentially dangerous air on the way, here are some things to keep in mind.

“Check on your elderly neighbors, especially those who may not have adequate heating or clothing,” said Hollingsworth.

When dressing up to go outside, remember to layer up. Hollingsworth said, “make sure your extremities, especially your fingers, your hands, feet, and toes your ears as well as your head are covered.”

Using alternative heat can be dangerous, even deadly. If you’re exposed to carbon monoxide.

“People are using things such as charcoal grills to warm their house, ovens, and other space heaters. So this is a real risk,” said Hollingsworth.

The cold also poses a risk to our pets.

Sarah Backler, with the Naples Humane Society, wants you to think about this question before letting your animals outside. “How would you feel running around outside barefoot in the cold? Your dog or cat is probably going to feel the same way.”

Their advice, stay inside. “You definitely want to limit outside time, especially when we’re looking at frozen ground,” said Backler.

Your pets aren’t the only things that are impacted by the cold ground. You will need to protect your plants too.

That can be done with household items like bed sheets or even something as simple as old newspapers to help keep the frost off them.

With the cold air not expected until this weekend, you still have time to prepare.

For the latest updates on the changing weather conditions, check back here and on-air for updates. You can also download our WINK News weather app to get your weather on the go.

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