Here are 15 tips to stay safe in the cold this week
This week is forecasted to be extremely cold, here's how you can stay safe.
RAPID CITY, S.D. – With brutally cold temperatures in the forecast, here’s what you need to know to stay safe:
- With forecasted wind chills as low as -60 degrees, frostbite can occur in as little as five minutes. Make sure you have as little exposed skin as possible.
- Some of the signs of frostbite are numbness and your skin changing color. If you are experiencing these symptoms, run the affected area under room temperature water.
- Be aware of the signs of hypothermia: confusion, excessive shivering, slurred speech, sleepiness, and stiff muscles.
- To combat mild hypothermia, get inside as soon as possible and drink something warm.
- If you stop shivering or suddenly feel warm, these are signs of severe hypothermia and you should immediately seek medical help.
- You should also seek immediate medical help if you have severe frostbite. You can tell you have severe frostbite if your skin turns bluish-gray and the affected area no longer feels cold.
- Stay dry. Frostbite and hypothermia can happen more quickly if your clothes become wet.
- Dress in layers. You should wear a base layer that wicks moisture away from your skin; a mid-layer for warmth; and an outer layer for wind protection.
- Wear mittens. They are warmer than gloves because your fingers are kept together.
- Cover your mouth and nose to protect your lungs from the cold air.
- Avoid exerting yourself. Sweating in the cold is dangerous because it pulls heat away from your body.
- Eat warm food often. Being out in the cold burns a lot of calories and warm food can help your body not need to work as hard to stay warm.
- Your vehicle also needs some special care in cold temperatures. Give yourself extra time to warm up your vehicle after starting it.
- Be careful near intersections, where vehicles can be in one place for an extended period of time. The exhaust can freeze onto the road in a very thin layer of ice, making it very difficult to see.
- The best way to avoid the dangers of extreme cold is to not go outside unless it’s absolutely necessary.