People didn't seem to mine the bitter cold while getting some...

People didn't seem to mine the bitter cold while getting some exercise on the Long Beach boardwalk in Long Beach on Jan. 28, 2021. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Long Island is experiencing its coldest temperatures of the season Tuesday. The National Weather Service has safety tips to navigate through the arctic blast.

A homeowners to-do list

Have an emergency supply kit ready in case you lose power.

Be sure cellphones are fully charged.

Have a supplemental heat source available. Be sure to follow the directions on using the heat source to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated.

If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney or flue inspected each year.

Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze.

To the extent possible, weatherproof your home by adding weatherstripping, insulation, insulated doors and storm windows, or thermal-pane windows.

Be sure cellphones are fully charged during cold weather, experts...

Be sure cellphones are fully charged during cold weather, experts advise. Credit: Getty Images/F.J. Jimenez

What car owners should do

Prepare your car. Have the radiator system serviced and check the antifreeze level.

Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.

Replace any worn tires, and check the air pressure in the tires.

During winter, keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

Keep an emergency kit in your car in case you become stranded.

If you venture outside

Wear a hat because half of your body heat can be lost from your head. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.

Try to stay dry and out of the wind.

Wind chill affects animals, too. Bring pets inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure that they have access to unfrozen water.

Avoid overexertion. Sweating from overexertion could lead to a chill and hypothermia.

Cold weather also puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor's advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold.

If you must do heavy outdoor chores, dress warmly and work slowly. Your body is already working hard just to stay warm, so don't overdo it.

Do not drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages; they cause your body to lose heat more rapidly. Instead, drink warm, sweet beverages or broth to help maintain your body temperature. If you have any dietary restrictions, ask your doctor.

Avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin while deicing and fueling your car or using a snowblower. These materials in contact with the skin greatly increase heat loss from the body.

Do not ignore shivering. It's an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.

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