Cold, even frigid weather is sweeping down from the north. Below freezing temperatures during the day with very low overnight temperatures- the forecast is for a low of thirteen degrees.
That being said, what are some things we can do to prepare for this frigid forecast? Here are some tips.
The first item to note is water pipes. In our southern Missouri region, many homes have pipes that freeze overnight when temperatures reach below 15 degrees. Waking up to no water is not fun.
Don’t despair. We can take steps to avoid water issues. Obviously, water can be shut off at the meter when temperatures run low. Insulating pipes, preferably in warmer weather, is positive prevention. Let your water trickle or drip overnight, possibly all day, keeps ice from forming in the pipes unless temperatures are quite cold. 
Vents and Chimneys
During colder weather, we run fireplaces and furnaces more frequently. During spring and fall, birds and possibly other animals can make homes in chimneys. That needs to be cleared out to ensure airflow.
If you have a fireplace, have you swept it out recently? Creosote and soot buildup can decrease your draft as well as increase fire hazards when building hot fires in this cold weather. Keep an eye on it.
Vents in the house need to stay uncovered.
Whether it is a car, truck, tractor, motorcycle, or ATV, vehicles need to be winter weather prepared. Proper antifreeze solvent and windshield washer liquid need to be filled up. Make sure there is an ice scraper in the vehicle. Tire treads have minimum depths to combat ice or snow.
When working outdoors, or even traveling, one needs to keep in mind the temperatures. Dressing in layers is best to retain heat close to the body. Mittens and gloves for hands while hats on the head are all considered musts.
Livestock and Pets Too
If you have livestock, you already know this- but here it is anyway. Thirteen degrees isn’t too bad in a short spurt like this for the furry critters. Think about water. Smaller containers may freeze. Ponds probably won’t.
If your pets are short-haired, do they have shelter? If they are outside pets, can you put them in a barn etc.?
Traveling Tips in Cold Weather
Even a short trip to town can prove disastrous without proper caution. A good thing to keep in mind is a spare blanket always in the trunk of the car all season. I’ve heard said to carry spare bottles of water. This is good, but they cannot remain in the vehicle all winter as they, too, may freeze. A chocolate bar or granola bar are valuable items to stock in the glove box.
After all this is done, watching the weather and using common sense is the best advice for cold weather.