Cold Weather Safety

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As colder weather is showing up in the forecast we would like to remind you of cold weather safety.

If you detect symptoms of frostbite, which is the freezing of the skin and body tissue beneath the skin, in either yourself or another person, seek medical care IMMEDIATELY. Additionally, hypothermia occurs when one’s body temperature drops to dangerously low levels, so, before addressing symptoms of frostbite, first determine whether you or someone else is showing signs of hypothermia.

UNDERSTANDING WIND CHILL

As the wind increases, your body is cooled at a faster rate, causing the skin temperature to drop. This is why it sometimes “feels” colder than the actual temperature. Wind chill is the temperature it “feels like” when you are outside. The NWS provides a Wind Chill Chart to show the difference between air temperature, and the perceived temperature, and the amount of time until frostbite occurs.

SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA

  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Memory loss, disorientation
  • Incoherence
  • slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Apparent exhaustion

  • SIGNS OF FROSTBITE

    Loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, earlobes, face, and the tip of the nose.

    WHAT TO DO

    Cover exposed skin, but do not rub the affected area in an attempt to warm it up. Frostbite results in the formation of ice crystals in the tissue, and rubbing could damage the tissue. Seek medical help immediately. For more information, visit the CDC’s page on frostbite and hypothermia.

    If you detect symptoms of hypothermia:

  • Get the victim to a warm location.
  • Remove wet clothing.
  • Warm the center of the body first by wrapping the person in blankets or putting on dry clothing.
  • Give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the person is conscious.
  • Take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°, seek medical attention immediately.

  • WHAT TO WEAR

  • If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water-repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Cover all of your body. Wear a hat and a scarf, covering your mouth to protect your face and to help prevent loss of body heat.