With extreme cold temperatures on their way, the Summit County Health Examiner offers these tips to stay safe.
The extreme cold weather expected next week will provide challenges to stay warm and safe. Planning ahead is the best precaution for reducing the risk of weather related problems. Take care of yourself and your family and please check in on isolated, elderly or disabled family, friends or neighbors – let’s watch out for one another.
These extreme temperatures can quickly become life threatening or cause serious health problems including hypothermia and frostbite. Be careful outside or on the road and if you do go out, treat it as a survival situation and prepare accordingly.
For even short trips in the car, take along a blanket, flashlight, a first aid kit and extra warm cloths. You may be fine, but you may also need these supplies if the need arises to rescue a stranded motorist. Keep your headlights clean and working and have plenty of windshield wiper fluid. Most important; remember your phone.
Drive with an added degree of safety in mind. Be patient and do not tailgate – it takes longer to stop with reduced traction. Avoid using cruise control in winter conditions as it may cause your car to hydroplane or skid trying to maintain speed. If you feel uncomfortable or if the weather is too bad, find a safe spot and pull over.
If you need to go outside, minimize your time and avoid overexertion – a major cause of death in the winter. Layer your clothing and keep all skin surfaces covered. If you think you might have frostbite, get to a doctor as soon as possible.
Stock up on emergency supplies in the home including extra food and water. Use fireplace, wood stove or combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and keep a dry chemical fire extinguisher near the area to be heated.
And finally, don’t forget the pets – bring them in the house!