Gering officials encourage residents to prevent freezing pipes, protect pets and prepare for severe weather

With extremely cold temperatures predicted this week, the City of Gering would like to remind residents and business owners to take action to prevent frozen pipes and to protect pets.

If you plan to travel during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home or business set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees.

Make sure to heat all the rooms of your house or business that have plumbing fixtures. Water pipes in unheated rooms are subject to freezing and could cause extensive damage.

Keep kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

Seal any openings in the basement, crawl space, around the foundation, windows, and doors.

Leave a trickle of water running from any faucet on an outside wall. This trickle should be a steady stream slightly larger than the lead of a pencil.

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Make sure you know where your main water shut off is inside your home so you can shut off your water quickly in the event of a leak.

City officials would also like to remind residents that it is essential to provide a warm, dry shelter for pets to get out of the elements (by law a domestic animal must be provided with shelter).

Please keep in mind that pets can succumb to frostbite and hypothermia.

Make sure they have plenty of fresh drinking water at all times.

Thoroughly wipe off your pet’s legs and stomach when they come in from outside to remove sleet, snow or ice. Animals can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking their paws and fur. Remove snow from between pet’s toes to prevent frostbite.

Don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather as vehicles can act as an icebox that holds in the cold, potentially causing hypothermia.

Pet owners needing pet food or assistance to help protect pets from the elements, please contact Skipper’s Cupboard at 672-5015. Please remember if it is too cold for the public to be outside, it is probably too cold for pets. Keep animals inside or allow them to have access to shelter that is properly heated.

Additionally, with severe weather conditions, the city encourages residents to consider the following:

Stock up on essential items such as groceries, toiletries and prescriptions; plan to have enough on hand for at least three days.

If travel is planned, consider alternate dates. If travel is a must, pay attention to travel advisories, road closures and the weather forecast before setting out. Make sure to pack a winter survival kit for vehicles and do not leave your vehicle if you become stranded — wait for emergency assistance.

Limit time outside. If someone needs to be outside, dress in layers of warm clothing. Learn the signs of, and basic treatments for, frostbite and hypothermia.

Consider offering assistance to friends and neighbors who may need a helping hand to prepare for inclement weather.

A winter storm can bring a variety of hazards to our community including downed trees and power lines. Have flashlights and batteries on hand in the event of a power outage.

When removing snow from the property, as a reminder (per Ordinance 2053-2) — snow from a private driveway, private sidewalk, business driveway, or parking lot may not be placed on a city street. Penalty § 10.99.

The City of Gering encourages all citizens to be prepared, informed and resilient. Additional winter weather preparedness information can be found at the Federal Emergency Management website: www.ready.gov/winter-weather

Road and travel information can be found on the State of Nebraska website at https://hb.511.nebraska.gov/.