It’s Cold Out There!

Many of us are waking up this morning to ice, snow and dangerous wind chills. Taking preventative steps is your best defense when dealing with extreme cold weather. Prepare your home and vehicles in advance of weather emergencies. Keep abreast of changing weather and road conditions. Practice safety during these times of bitter cold and you’ll reduce your risk for weather-related health problems or injury.

If you absolutely have to venture outdoors, make sure you are dressed for extreme cold weather conditions.

How to dress in the cold

Learn to recognize the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires immediate emergency medical assistance. Check on neighbors, family and friends who may be susceptible to the cold. Learn more: Continue reading

Overwintering Pests – Cluster Flies, Lady Beetles, Boxelder Bugs,Western Conifer Seed Bugs

Boxelder bugs aggregating on the windows.

Boxelder bugs aggregating on the south side of the house and trying to get inside around the windows. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

Some pests are considered seasonal or occasional pests and their grand entrance into your house in the fall may go unnoticed, but they are not accidental. Overwintering pests require a protective place to spend the adult stage of their life without freezing to death. They normally require a winter habitat between 40-50°F for hibernation. In the fall, large populations congregate on the warm, sunny side of the structure, usually the southwestern facing exterior wall and begin moving upward to find a gaps that leads inside.

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Your vehicle gets HOT! Leave them at home, not in the car!

Never leave children, the elderly, persons with disabilities or pets in a parked vehicle on hot days! What’s hot? …

Did you know that even on an 80 deg F day, temperatures in a vehicle can raise to unsafe levels in just a couple of minutes. In studies, cracking the windows makes very little difference.

From the National Weather Service:

A vehicle heats up quicker than you might imagine. A dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to over 200°F. These objects (e.g., dashboard, steering wheel, child seat) heat the adjacent air adjacent air by conduction and convection and also give off longwave radiation (red in the images below) which is very efficient at warming the air trapped inside a vehicle.

Shown below are time lapse photos of thermometer readings in a car over a period of less than an hour. These photos demonstrate just how quickly a vehicle can become a death trap.


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Severe Weather Preparedness – Start Today!

The best time to prepare for a storm is before it happens. Storms may be severe across parts of the nation on Tuesday, April 26 and Wednesday, April 27 (map). Know the difference between a “Watch” or a “Warning” – Be Weather Aware!

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What can you do? Prepare and/or restock your family emergency kits . Don’t forget pets and consider what steps you’ll take for livestock and large animals. Review your safe-place plans with family.

Make sure flashlights are working, grab extra batteries and get out the weather alert radio. Keep your cell phone charged – during an emergency, you may not be able to make a cell phone call but you might be able to text.

For help visit http://ready.gov and http://ready.gov/animals

Stormy Weather

As always, check with your local emergency management agency for specific resources in your community. You can also contact your local university extension office for assistance locating the appropriate resources or agencies in your community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml

Have a great day!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu

Severe Weather Awareness Week

Tornado Damage - Hallam, Nebraska May 2004

Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 21-25. We’ve all seen our share of “weather aware” conditions around the nation this week! On Wednesday, Nebraska had heavy snows, rain, hail, lightning and strong wind. There were blizzard warnings and tornado watches on the same day. As unpredictible as the weather can be, you aren’t completely powerless if you are prepared.
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Severe Weather Awareness

Include a bright colored piece of fabric in your winter emergency kit for vehicles.

Tip: Include a substantial-sized bright red piece of material, flag or fabric in your vehicle’s winter emergency kit. If you are stranded in deep snow, or in a snowstorm/blizzard with limited visibility, emergency personnel will have an easier time finding you. Tie the fabric to your antenna. If you are unable to attach to an antenna, make sure you do whatever you can to make the cloth visible even if you have to drape out the vehicle’s window.

November 6 is “Winter Weather Awareness” Day in Nebraska! We’ve had an absolutely beautiful fall in southeastern Nebraska and with temperatures this week in the 50’s & 60’s, it’s hard to imagine winter weather is on the way.  We know a winter storm can last for several days and be accompanied by high winds, freezing rain or sleet, heavy snowfall and cold temperatures. During a severe storm, you could be trapped at home or in a car with no utilities or assistance, and if you attempt to walk for help could find yourself in a life-threatening situation. The aftermath of a winter storm can have an impact on a community or region for days, weeks, or possibly months. Continue reading