January is a month when temperatures plunge which is why you need to prepare for the severe weather conditions ahead. Along with being careful of traveling and staying warm, consider reducing outdoor activities during the extreme cold, especially activities involving the elderly and very young.
Traveling when Cold Out
Colder temperatures produce dangerous conditions when ice surfaces on places such as sidewalks and roadways. That is why it is important to be especially careful and alert to prevent accidents from occurring.
- When driving in icy conditions, be careful about speeds and keep a safe distance between other vehicles.
- Take extra precautions of your surroundings, especially after dark, when there is bad weather, and around school zones.
- Prepare a cold-weather kit in your car and include items such as food, water, warm clothing, a flashlight, a windshield scraper, blankets, road salt, etc.
- If taking a long trip, notify others and let them know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
- If possible, it is best to avoid driving all-together when weather conditions are dangerous.
- Be careful and cautious about overhanging icicles, especially when walking in in a metropolitan area.
- Wear snow boots when ice is present outside as leather soles are more at risk of slipping.
- Take shorter steps when walking through slippery icy conditions to reduce the risk of falling.
- Avoid putting your hands in pockets to help in a situation when you lose your balance or fall.
Staying Warm in the Freezing Cold
One of the most important ways to avoid the dangers of cold weather conditions is by planning ahead.
- Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing along with a heavy winter coat.
- Wear a winter hat that covers your ears.
- If possible, cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
- Have some sort of covering for your hand, like gloves or mittens.
Frostbite is the most common injury from cold weather and is the result of exposure of skin to the conditions. The injury reduces feeling in your skin and affects the fingers, toes, ears, nose, and cheeks. Pay attention to any sign that may signal frostbite, such as:
- Skin that has an odd firmness
- Bright white or grayish-yellow skin
- If a pain in your skin or redness occurs, return indoors, as frostbite may be beginning.
As always, if you “See Something, Say Something”. For life-threatening emergencies, call 911. To report suspicious activity, call 855-RPRT-2-S4 (855-777-8274).