Due to extreme wind chills, the Armstrong School District is operating on a two hour delay today.
National Weather Service forecasters predict wind chills could reach negative 20 degrees in the higher elevations – which can quickly produce frostbite on exposed skin.
Orphans of the Storm animal shelter in Rayburn Township has a few tips for pet owners during cold weather like today:
* If you can bring your outside pet inside while the temperatures are frigid, keep them in a cooler area such as the basement or garage to avoid extreme temperature changes.
* If your pet is outside, make sure he has a dry, draft-free shelter. They should be able to sit and lie down comfortably. Don’t make it too large, however: it should be small enough hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with a flap of heavy waterproof fabric or heavy plastic.
* Increase the amount of food you provide in the winter: the extra calories will help keep them warm.
*Check often to make sure they have unfrozen water. Don’t use metal bowls: when it is cold your pet’s tongue may freeze to the metal. Plastic bowls are better!
* Keep your indoor pets safe by not leaving them outside for extended periods of time when the temperature drops below freezing. Sweaters not only look cute, but also help keep shorthaired dogs comfortable during outdoor jaunts. Wipe feet with a damp towel every time after coming in from outdoors to remove harmful salt.
*Before you start your car, bang on the hood to scare away cats or small wildlife that may have crawled up under the hood to keep warm.
*Wipe up any spills of antifreeze, which is a deadly poison. The sweet taste attracts animals and children. Better yet, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife, or people.
In addition to Armstrong, Apollo-Ridge, Freeport, and Leechburg school districts also operated under a two-hour delay schedule, as did Lenape Technical School.