Tips on how to stay safe, prepare your car as frigid temperatures arrive

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The brutal cold that Central Virginia is feeling Thursday morning could lead to dangerous conditions if you’re not careful.

Whether you work outside or just taking your dog for a walk, you definitely want to bundle up and more importantly, take all the precautions necessary to make sure you stay healthy and safe.

Remember to:

  • Limit your time outside
  • Avoid being outside for long periods of time but if you must go out, make your trips short, with indoor rest periods in between. Do not let children play outside for long periods of time.
  • Keep your head, hands and feet covered when outdoors; Stay dry.
  • Recognize the symptoms of hypothermia: stiff muscles, shivering, puffy or swollen face, cold skin, slow breathing and mental confusion.

It’s also important to make sure your car is prepared for the frigid temperatures:

  • Do not warm up your car in an enclosed space and don’t let it sit idle for too long.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid the fuel line from freezing.
  • Do not use hot water to clear windshields or thaw door locks — it could crack the glass.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car, including a blanket, flashlight, flares and sand or cat litter to provide traction if stuck.

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Related: Cold weather means busted pipes: Here’s what you can do to protect your home

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