• 72°

Prepare not panic

Here in the Deep South most of us are not accustomed to the bitter cold. Winter has roared into the Black Belt region. It’s cold.

It’s important to remember many of our houses are old and not hard-freeze ready. This is the time of year when we see more house fires because people use those small heaters to warm up a room, forget they’re on or allow flammable material to get too close to them. The result: a devastating house fire.

While nobody should panic — after all this is just cold weather — we all should use extra precaution during this Arctic blast when we pull out the extra heating devices.

Similarly, we should prepare ourselves for outages of electricity, if conditions warrant, by stowing away at least 72 hours worth of water and food.

For those who venture outside during the bitter cold, remember to bundle up. Cover especially the head, where a lot of heat is lost.

Nature is gorgeous, but she can be deadly if the proper care is not taken.