Baby, it’s cold outside

As temperatures continue to plummet to the lowest we have seen in the past few years, students need to be reminded of the dangers that bitterly cold weather can bring.

According to The Weather Channel (weather.com), a front bringing cold arctic air pushed its way south Sunday, with expectations of bitter coldness lasting until Thursday.

As of Monday, Huntsville has been under a continuous ice storm warning expected to last until today, dangerous driving conditions may occur. Ice accumulations expected anywhere from one tenth to a half an inch is possible.

With many Sam Houston State University students commuting to and from campus, students need to be careful as the interstate and back roads can be covered with patches of ice causing potentially harmful automobile accidents.

To insure a safe commute, roadragers.com has a few tips to keep in mind: If you find your windshield iced over, allow your car to begin warming up while you either scrape the windshield with an ice scrape or moderately cool water. Pouring hot water directly to an iced over windshield might cause cracks. If you encounter a patch of ice during your commute, remove your foot from the accelerator and slowly steer the vehicle in the direction you want it to go. Braking in a situation such as this can be harmful as it does not allow the tires to gain traction on the road.

Packed highways and local roads are usual, so students need to remember to keep a fair distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them. Also, the posted speed limits are meant to be followed in ideal conditions. If you encounter ice or snow, slow down to a reasonable and safe speed.

While bitter cold can be dangerous on the road, it can be equally dangerous in and around your home. Weather.com says to always remember “the three P’s: Pets, Plants and Pipes.” During cold weather, pets should be brought indoors. Plants that cannot withstand freezing temperatures should be brought inside, while plants outside should be covered with a sheet or a freeze cloth to prevent ice from forming on the leaves. Exposed pipes should be insulated and covered as frozen pipes can break. If living in an apartment, allow a slow drip from a faucet if weather dips below freezing.

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