Severe cold outbreaks occur in Florida at least once a year. In addition to the actual low temperatures sometimes experienced across the Sunshine State, when strong winds combine with cold temperatures, the heat loss from a person's skin can be accelerated. This is called wind chill. Wind chill can make it feel like it is much colder outside than what the actual temperature is.
The National Weather Service will issue Frost Advisories, Wind Chill Advisories, Watches or Warnings, along with Freeze and Hard Freeze Watches and Warnings when cold weather threatens an area.
If this occurs, you should remember the 5 P’s:
- Protect People: Remember to dress in layers and wear a hat and gloves. It is important to try to stay out of the wind and to stay dry. Also, remember to check on young children and the elderly who are the most sensitive to cold weather.
- Protect Pets: If cold weather is in the forecast, be sure to bring outdoor pets inside or give them a warm shelter to stay in.
- Protect Plants: Cover cold sensitive plants to protect them from the dangerous temperatures.
- Protect Pipes: Cover pipes and allow outdoor faucets to slowly drip to prevent from freezing and breaking.
- Practice Fire Safety: Use safe heating sources indoors. Do not use fuel-burning devices such as grills; they release carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas. Also, make sure to use space heaters according to their instructions and be attentive to open flames.