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Utah's cold temperatures can be deadly

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) - The temperatures continue to plummet across the state of Utah and the cold weather could be deadly for some people.

According to Dan Pope, Chief Meteorologist at ABC4 News, the damage can be done in a matter of minutes.

"If you're out and it's cold, you may start to shake. That's your body telling you it's cold. When you go through that period of shivering and then all of a sudden you're not, that's a sign your body is beginning to shut down and you could easily perish," Pope explained.

The elderly, young children, the homeless community and pets, are the groups at high risk when we start seeing single-digit temperatures.

"If the temperature is down around 10 below zero, you're exposed skin can freeze in 10 minutes. If it's 40 below zero it freezes in three minutes. That can be wind chill or actual temperature,"  said Pope.

"Those children haven't got the same system build up to stay warm in the cold. If a child or baby is exposed to the cold, they will tend to freeze or perish much more quickly than we would" ... "Check on those elderly folks because maybe they don't know how to turn the heat on or they don't remember when the thermometer is dropping to a certain point," Pope warned.

As for your pets, Temma Martin with Best Friends Animal Society tells ABC4 News, to limit their time outside. The cold temperatures can be life-threatening.

"A lot of people assume that because your pet has fur that it can stay warm in the cold, but when temperatures are freezing and drop below zero, that is absolutely not true," she said.

If you need to take your pets for a walk outside, make sure they're bundled up.

"Not only can their ears, paw pads, and tails get frostbite, but the animal can get hypothermia and freeze to death in its own yard when the temperatures are this low," explained Martin.

She says it's best to bring your pets inside the house. If that's not an option, put them in the basement or an insulated dog house or pet shelter, inside the garage.

Another tip, make sure your furry friend stays hydrated with water.

Pope says it's going to be "very very cold through Friday," so we've included links below on how to keep your pets warm:

https://bestfriends.org/resources/how-keep-dogs-warm-winter

https://bestfriends.org/resources/keeping-dogs-and-cats-warm-and-safe-winter

https://bestfriends.org/resources/how-help-outside-cats-winter

 


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