Dangerously Cold Weather Hits U.S.–What You Need to Know
Frigid temperatures are hitting the central and eastern U.S. this week. The Arctic cold and its lake effect snow can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. Five deaths have already been attributed to the coldfront, including an 18-vehicle pile-up accident in Pennsylvania. Thankfully, only three of 20 people were sent to the hospital and no deaths occurred. The arctic front has also forced schools from South Dakota to Boston to close today.
During extreme weather conditions, it is critically important to prepare and remain aware. Times like these require that we take care of ourselves and others who need extra assistance, like children, the elderly, and your pets. Stock up and stay inside as much as possible. NEVER heat your home with a stove or oven–doing so can be deadly. And finally, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Try to drink half of your body weight in fluid ounces.
If you must travel BUNDLE UP! Frostbite and hypothermia are very real–and very serious–risks of arctic cold. Frostbite, a condition when your skin and its underlying tissue freeze, can occur in less than 30 minutes when temperatures hit below five degrees. Hypothermia is a medical emergency when your body loses heat faster than it can produce (Mayo Clinic). To prevent both, stay warm with multiple layers (rather than one big coat) and protect every inch of your body–from your head and core, to your arms and legs. Don’t let the cold sneak in.
For more information on staying safe, check out this survival guide. Stay safe, stay warm!