Extreme cold can be dangerous and sometimes deadly. Lows in the single digits in many D.C. area locations tonight and tomorrow night (wind chills near or below zero), and highs scratching their way to get to 20 tomorrow (wind chills in the single digits), probably won't set any records. But they could still be life-threatening.
It's probably too late to take precautions like insulating your attic or having your car's radiator system serviced. But here are a few last-minute tips (some as easy as filling up your gas tank) to help keep you, your family and pets safe and warm -- outside, inside and in your car.
Keep reading for important extreme cold safety tips, and use the comments section to let us know if we missed anything...
* Dress warmly and stay dry.
* Wear a hat, scarf, and mittens.
* Avoid frostbite.
* If you have to do heavy outdoor chores, dress warmly and work slowly.
* Avoid getting wet.
* Notify friends and family where you will be before you go hiking, camping, or skiing.
* If you are stranded, it is safest to stay in your car.
Courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More outdoor safety tips.
* Use fireplace, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak flue gas into the indoor air space.
* Never use a charcoal or gas grill indoors -- the fumes are deadly.
* Never leave lit candles unattended.
* Avoid opening doors and windows. Close off unneeded rooms.
* Check the temperature in your home often during severely cold weather.
* Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.
* Eat well-balanced meals to help you stay warmer.
Courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More indoor safety tips.
* Keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
* Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
* Check the air pressure in the tires.
* Check and add antifreeze if needed.
Courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More car safety tips.
More Cold Safety Tips from Earth Gauge