It’s cold outside

Published 10:42 am Thursday, January 7, 2010

As natives of northeastern North Carolina, we consider ourselves a hardy band of people.

Perhaps that is linked to our proud past…one rooted deep in agriculture and working the soil from sun up to sundown.

But if there’s one thing that truly bothers us, creeps under our tough skin, it’s cold weather.

This part of the state, due to our proximity to the warmer waters of the Atlantic Ocean, is known far and wide for its mild winters. Sure, there have been cold snaps in years past, but usually they are confined to a couple of days of freezing weather.

We cannot attest to that fact this week.

Despite day after day of abundant sunshine, the thermometer has struggled to get out of the 30’s. Overnight lows have felt more like North Dakota than North Carolina.

With that in mind, plus the fact that meteorologists are forecasting another blast of cold Arctic air this weekend – plus snow flurries tonight and early Friday morning, we need to make plans now to protect ourselves and our property.

If you must venture outside, be sure to dress warmly. The best bet is to do so with several layers of clothing.

Your vehicle’s battery also doesn’t like cold weather. Starting a vehicle on a cold morning will eventually takes its toll on a weakened battery. Consider a new battery (with plenty of “cold cranking” amps) or check an old one for corrosion. Also keep a check on the antifreeze in the radiator.

Close all foundation vents of your home and make an effort to protect water pipes from freezing.

And please remember to keep a daily check on elderly neighbors. Often, due to financial difficulties, they will turn down their home heating thermostats in an effort to save money.

If all else fails, keep thinking that Spring arrives in 72 days!