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Temperatures not expected to get above freezing until Saturday

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Temperatures in Nashville around 6 a.m. Friday. Temperatures in Nashville around 6 a.m. Friday.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Dangerously cold weather has moved into Middle Tennessee, and temperatures are not expected to get above freezing until Saturday.

Mobile warming stations will be available to the public in Nashville on Friday from 1 to 7 p.m. at Riverfront Park and in the Farmers Market area.

According to the National Weather Service, another arctic blast will arrive Monday night, bringing temperatures into the single digits and wind chills near zero or below by Tuesday morning.

The Tennessee Valley Authority has asked all electric power consumers to voluntarily reduce their electricity usage until Friday afternoon. The TVA says any reductions in electricity use can help ensure that the power stays on and service interruptions are avoided.

According to a news release from the TVA, peak power demand will occur Thursday night and could exceed 31,000 megawatts. Electric loads could peak again Friday morning at 33,000 megawatts.

The TVA recommends you do the following to reduce your electricity use and lower your power bills:

  • Turning down the thermostat. Lowering the temperature just one degree can result in a savings of up to 3 percent.
  • Postpone using electric appliances, such as dishwashers, dryers and cooking equipment.
  • Turn off nonessential lights, appliances, electronics and other electrical equipment.

When heating your home, be careful about the use of space heaters. Keep them at least 3 feet away from anything flammable and make sure to turn them off before you leave a room or go to bed.

Check for cracks around your windows and doors. If you can, put an extra layer of caulk around windows to seal your heat in and keep cold out. If that doesn't work, you can take towels or blankets and stack them at the base of your door to keep drafts out.

If you are behind on your electric bill and are worried that you may get your heat shut off, experts say to call your electric company and let them know.

Staying safe in the cold

When dealing with temperatures this low, the risk for hypothermia runs high. Seek medical attention immediately if you or someone around you has symptoms of hypothermia, which includes shivering, fatigue, loss of coordination or confusion.

Those with exposed skin can develop frostbite in 30 minutes. Symptoms for frostbite include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

The Union Rescue Mission will be operating a "Cold Patrol" to help get homeless individuals to shelters.

If you see anyone outdoors who appears to be in distress or disoriented, or if you are at risk of exposure to the extreme cold, call Metro police for assistance at 615-862-8600.

The Metropolitan Homelessness Commission is operating an Extreme Weather Information Line for updated information on shelter beds. If you need shelter, that number is 615-800-0195.

Keep your pipes from freezing

Freezing pipes become a huge issue when the temperatures get this low.

Here is some advice from Metro Water Services on how to prevent this from happening your home:

  • Keep faucets dripping so water keeps flowing through your pipes.
  • Keep cabinet doors open so warm air circulates around your plumbing.
  • Keep the meter box closed so cold air doesn't reach the meter or pipes.
  • Remove exterior hose connections and insulate hose bibs.
  • Insulate exposed water pipes.
  • Cover foundation vents and seal all cracks in exterior walls and foundation.
  • If you have a frozen pipe, wrap it with a heating pad or towels soaked in warm water so it thaws. You can also use a hair dryer. Never use an open flame.
  • Find the water shut-off valve inside your home. If you can quickly close this when a pipe bursts, you could prevent future damage.

Take precautions with your vehicle

Here is some advice from experts on what you can to do keep your car running safely during extremely chilly temperatures:

  • Always have at least half a tank of gas in the vehicle.
  • Make sure your antifreeze is full.
  • Make sure your windshield wiper fluid is full.

Protect animals from life-threatening cold

Don't forget about pets! Temperatures this low could be deadly for your furry friends.

Mt. Juliet Animal Services released this list of simple steps to help protect your animals during cold temperatures:

  • Keep pets inside. If animals can't be inside, provide a warm, comfortable place. Face shelter away from wind and provide a flap or door to help keep the animal's body heat inside.
  • Bedding is essential for insulation. It protects the animal from the snow and ice underneath the body and allows the animal to retain heat within the bedding.
  • Cats may sleep under the hoods of cars to stay warm. If you have outdoor cats in your area, check under the hood before starting your car.
  • Keep your pets secure in fencing or use a leash. Pets can lose their sense of smell and direction in the snow and ice, so they can become lost.
  • Wipe off your dog's legs and stomach after being outdoors to remove any ice, salt or chemicals.
  • Outdoor pets need more calories to produce body heat so extra food and water must be provided. Devices are now available to keep water dishes from freezing; if one is not available, fill and replace water frequently.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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