By Amy Wadas

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — These temperatures are not to be taken lightly, as long stretches of prolonged cold can take a toll on your home, your health and your car.

The cold temperatures can wreak a lot of havoc on our car, so it’s important to make sure you have air in your tires, a gas tank that’s at least half full and plenty of fluids under your hood.

“Jumper cables, here’s triangle for side of the road you put behind your car to grab people’s attention,” said Jim Garrity with AAA East Central.

car emergency kit Dead Batteries, Frozen Pipes & Frostbite: Tips For Staying Safe, Healthy In Frigid Temperatures

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

An emergency kit is crucial in case you get stuck in the snow. Also, check your car battery and make sure it’s charged up.

“When you open [the emergency kit] up, you have an air compressor that plugs into the car, first aid tools, gloves, tools in case need to get under the hood in case you need a quick fix before getting to a shop,” said Garrity.

We also can’t forget about our pets. There’s a new state law in effect that states that a dog cannot be tethered for longer than 30 minutes in temperatures below 32 degrees. However, local humane officers in Allegheny County say they’ve been getting an average of 30 complaints a day. There aren’t enough humane police officers to respond to these calls. There are just two in the county.

“We have seen cold exposure injuries,” said Dr. Rade Vukmir with West Penn Hospital.

Dr. Rade Vukmir says he’s already seen full blown frostbite cases this winter.

“It’s a combination of the depth of the temperature drop, adverse conditions, especially if people get water exposure in addition to cold temperatures, we find that really compounds the injury,” said Vukmir.

When temperatures get this bitterly cold, your pipes can freeze. A few local plumping companies KDKA’s Amy Wadas spoke to said they’ve been responding to a lot of these calls. One piece of advice to prevent this from happening is to let your faucets drip while you’re sleeping overnight.

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