The National Weather Service has issued a Hard Freeze Warning from midnight Saturday until 9 a.m. Here's what it is and what you need to know to prepare.
During a Hard Freeze Warning, temperatures drop to bitterly cold levels from around 5 degrees to 10 degrees and can pose a significant danger to people, animals, vegetation and plumbing.
WHICH COUNTIES ARE INCLUDED?
The Hard Freeze Warning is generally along a line from Bonham and Greenville, to
Dallas and Ennis, to Waco and Lampasas.
The warning includes the following counties: Montague, Cooke, Grayson, Fannin, Young, Jack, Wise, Denton, Collin, Hunt, Stephens, Palo Pinto, Parker, Tarrant, Dallas, Rockwall, Eastland, Erath, Hood, Somervell, Johnson, Ellis, Comanche, Mills, Hamilton, Bosque, Hill, Lampasas, Coryell, McLennan.
PROTECT PEOPLE, ANIMALS
Hard freezes can be deadly to humans and pets alike. If you're outside, make sure to find adequate shelter that provides protection from biting wind and bone-chilling cold. Move indoors if possible.
Hypothermia sets in when a person or animal loses body heat faster than it can be replaced and their body temperature drops below 95 degrees. Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, lethargy, stiff muscles, slow breathing, and a lack of coordination. More severe symptoms include collapsing or falling into a coma.
In cases of paradoxical undressing, the hypothermia victim, feeling hot while in extreme cold, irrationally begins to undress in an attempt to stay cool. Studies have indicated that as the core body temperature falls to a critical level, constricted blood vessels that retain body heat expand and give off an exaggerated sensation of being too hot leading the victim to undress.
Left untreated, hypothermia can lead to heart and respiratory failure and eventually death. These symptoms are true for animals as well as humans.
PROTECT OUTDOOR PLUMBING, SPRINKLERS
Hard freezes can damage unprotected plumbing, including sprinklers and pool and/or spa equipment. To prevent freezing and possible bursting of water pipes, they should be wrapped and allowed to drip the hot water setting slowly. Also, open interior cabinets to allow warm air within the home to easily reach your indoor plumbing.
Those that have in-ground sprinkler systems should make sure they are turned off. Sprinkler systems that turn on during sub-freezing temperatures will create additional and dangerous ice that can be hazardous for both pedestrians and those traveling nearby in vehicles.
PROTECT PETS AND OUTDOOR ANIMALS
Take steps now to protect pets and plumbing from the bitter cold temperatures. Plants and tender vegetation should be covered when temperatures get below freezing. Hard freezes can inflict widespread damage to landscapes and vegetation. The damage from a hard freeze may not be evident until a plant tries to leaf out in the spring, so be patient to see if it's going to recover.