The information below is shared from the Centers for Disease Control. Find this information, and more, at: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/duringstorm/outdoorsafety.html
Dress Warmly and Stay Dry
Adults and children should wear:
- a hat
- a scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth
- sleeves that are snug at the wrist
- mittens (they are warmer than gloves)
- water-resistant coat and boots
- several layers of loose-fitting clothing
- Inner Layer: Wear fabrics that will hold more body heat and don’t absorb moisture. Wool, silk, or polypropylene will hold more body heat than cotton.
- Insulation Layer: An insulation layer will help you retain heat by trapping air close to your body. Natural fibers, like wool or goose down, or a classic fleece work best.
- Outer Layer: The outermost layer helps protect you from wind, rain, and snow. It should be tightly woven, and preferably water and wind resistant, to reduce loss of body heat.
- Stay dry—wet clothing chills the body rapidly.
- Excess perspiration will increase heat loss, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm.
- Also, avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin while de-icing and fueling your car or using a snow blower. These materials in contact with the skin greatly increase heat loss from the body.
- Do not ignore shivering. It’s an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.
Avoid Frostbite and Hypothermia
Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it’s produced. Lengthy exposures will eventually use up your body’s stored energy, which leads to lower body temperature. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia especially dangerous, because a person may not know it’s happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.
Frostbite is a bodily injury caused by freezing that causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation.