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Be Prepared for Potential Record-Breaking Cold This Week

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Be Prepared for Potential Record-Breaking Cold This Week

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Take Steps to Avoid Frostbite and Hypothermia

Forecasters are predicting a blast of very cold Arctic air will cover our region Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, with the potential for near record cold temperatures.

Both the high and low temperatures will be more typical of January, according to the National Weather Service, with readings at least 10 to 15 degrees below normal for November.

Residents should take precautions to protect themselves from cold-related emergencies like frostbite and hypothermia.

Signs of hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature, include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling of hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness.

Frostbite is the freezing of a specific body part such as fingers, toes, the nose or earlobes. Signs of frostbite include— a lack of feeling in the affected area; skin that appears waxy, is cold to the touch, or is discolored (flushed, white or gray, yellow or blue).

The American Red Cross recommends the following safety tips in extremely cold weather:

  • Be aware of the wind chill. Dress appropriately and avoid staying in the cold too long. Wear a hat and gloves when appropriate with layers of clothing. Avoid unnecessary exposure.
  • Drink plenty of warm fluids or warm water but avoid caffeine and alcohol. Stay active to maintain body heat.
  • Take frequent breaks from the cold.
  • Get out of the cold immediately if the signs of hypothermia or frostbite appear.