How to prepare for this weekend’s cold front

Put away those short-sleeves and get ready to crank the thermostat up. There’s a cold front a-brewin’ for Austin, and it’s set to hit late Thursday night into Friday morning. Expect freezing temperatures. It’s not supposed to get warmer than 37 degrees on Friday, and the weekend isn’t looking much better: The highest predicted temperature is 48 degrees.

Diego Rodriguez covers up plants outside of Upper Crust Bakery on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011. (Deborah Cannon/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Diego Rodriguez covers up plants outside of Upper Crust Bakery on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011. (Deborah Cannon/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Whether you’re happy we’re getting some more winter weather or you’re sad to have to wear a jacket, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s going to be a cold weekend. You probably know to cover your outdoor plants. Here are some more safety tips from the American Red Cross to get ready for the cold, as well as some ideas on what to do if you don’t feel like leaving the house.

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  • Wear layers. Gloves and a hat will prevent you from losing body heat.
  • Bring your pets indoors. They may have fur, but if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them.
  • Keep your thermostat temperature constant throughout the day and night in order to avoid bursting pipes, when it gets down to freezing temperatures.
  • Speaking of pipes, it helps to run trickling water to prevent your pipes from freezing. Open your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage. If pipes do freeze, thaw them slowly with an electric hair dryer.
  • Never use the oven or the stove to heat your home.
  • If you use a space heater, make sure it’s on a level surface and it’s at least three feet away from anything flammable, and make sure to turn them off before you go to bed (in your bed that has lots of blankets, of course).
  • Car tire pressure can be affected by just a 10 degree change in temperature, and when gone unchecked, could cause flat tires and lead to accidents. Make sure your car’s tires are inflated properly.

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If you just don’t feel like leaving your cozy little abode this weekend, here are some things you can do at home:

  • Go on a Netflix binge (Like you weren’t already thinking about doing that this weekend.)
  • Cook up some warm meals at home. Use the time to unleash your inner culinary artist.
  • Drink something warm.
  • Do yoga or some other sort of exercise. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can slack off on those New Year’s resolutions.

But, if you do feel like venturing out, there’s still a lot to do:

However you choose to spend your cold front weekend, stay warm, and stay safe.

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