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Get ready: it's going to get very cold this week

Posted at 4:18 PM, Jan 28, 2019

NEWPORT, Ky. — Humans can learn something from penguins about preparing for cold weather, according to Newport Aquarium senior biologist Dan Clady.

"I layer up the same as penguins do," he said. "I usually have a shirt and a scarf and a fleece and a jacket and a couple of pairs of socks."

With cold weather on the way, it may be time in Greater Cincinnati to learn that lesson from the penguins. Across the river from the aquarium, Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency director Nick Crossley spent the day getting ready to send out alerts and asking places like libraries and rec centers to act as warming centers this week. All Cincinnati Rec Commission centers are operating as warm centers during regular business hours this week.

RELATED: Where to go to warm up during dangerously cold temps this week

The National Weather Service has already issued a Wind Chill Watch, Winter Weather Advisory and Special Weather Statement for parts of the Tri-State this week, warning the region could experience the coldest temperatures it has seen in years.

MORE: Your latest forecast

"The part that we're trying to get across the people is that this is an extreme weather event, so when you're talking about -10, -15, -20, even breathing can become more difficult," Crossley said.

The City of Cincinnati was drafting its cold weather plan, too. For the Cincinnati Fire Department, temperatures going down means the number of calls will go up.

Assistant Fire Chief Sherman Smith said there should be about 3 feet of clearance between any heating device and flammable objects.

"Everybody is concerned with keeping the cold out and a lot of times, they will improvise when it comes to heating the home," he said.

The SPCA wants to remind people that it's a crime in Ohio to leave a dog outside without shelter.

The state Department of Aging recommends preparing bags with blanket, water, snacks and a flashlight in case the power goes out and takes the heat with it.

"This kind of weather, you probably need to limit your time outside, be aware if your children are going to be outside and then check on the elderly," Crossley said.

The American Red Cross also shared some additional tips Monday for staying warm:

Heating your home
•If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface like ceramic tile
•Never leave a fire in a fireplace unattended, and use a glass or metal screen to keep embers in place
•Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home
•Turn off portable space heaters if you leave the room or go to sleep

Staying safe in the weather
•Wear layers of clothing, a hat, mittens and waterproof, insulated boots
•Be careful when tackling strenuous tasks like shoveling
•Bring pets indoors
•Watch for hypothermia and frostbite