As frigid temperatures sweep through the Midwest and across the Mid-Ohio Valley, many are taking extra precautions to stay safe and warm. Businesses and schools are closed and residents are advised to remain indoors as much as possible.

For those looking for a place to stay warm, our region’s public libraries are open normal businesses hours today and tomorrow. After closing hours, all are welcome to stay warm in a Warming Center being opened in Room #9 in the Armory Building at 241 Front Street, thanks to the City of Marietta. The Warming Center will remain open throughout the night. The Latrobe Street Mission in Parkersburg will be operating on an emergency status until this cold snap is over, and will provide shelter for whom ever needs it, and feed whom ever is hungry.

For those who do have to venture outside, be sure to dress in warm layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing and cover as much skin as possible. Mittens, snug around the wrist, are better than gloves, and it’s important to cover your mouth to protect your lungs.

To prevent pipes from freezing on an outside wall, let hot and cold water trickle or drip at night from a faucet and open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to un-insulated pies under a sink or near an outer wall. If you plan to be away from home, make sure you leave your heat one and have someone check daily to ensure it is still running, or drain and shut off the water system.

If you do have a pipe freeze, make sure you and your family know how to shut off the water in case a pipe bursts. Do not try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch, use a hair dryer. Be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water.

Don’t forget to bring your furry friends inside! If you are cold, your pets are cold, too. Keep salt away from their paws, and provide shelter and fresh water for your critters.

To prepare your vehicle for cold weather, check your battery, fluids and tires and keep jumper cables and a couple blankets in the trunk or back seat in case of emergency or a break down.

Be prepared and check on older loved ones and neighbors, friends and family members, and if you have extra coats, gloves, hats or scarves, consider making a donation to your local pantry or shelter. For more information, Buckeye Hills shared a preparation guide from the Ohio Department of Aging.