Colby, KS

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Tips on how to deal with freezing weather

andy lambertDecember 5, 2013

 

The Tri-state area will continue to be plagued by extremely cold weather and wind chill warnings through Monday. A warning is only issued when wind chill temperatures are so low they are considered life threatening. Temperatures are expected to be below 20 degrees over the next 72 hours, with 15-20 mph gusts of freezing air plummeting the “what it feels like” temperatures into the negative degrees.

 

As the wind picks up and causes a drop in temperature, the body is cooled at a faster rate than normal, causing skim temperature to drop. The basic description of frostbite is freezing body tissue. The most common and susceptible body parts to this extremity are fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. Some basic symptoms of frostbite include losing feeling of a body part along with a whiter, pale appearance.

 

Some parts of the Tri-state area experienced (or will experience) an actual temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind speed of 15 mph. A scenario like that will produce wind chill temperatures of 15-20 degrees BELOW ZERO. In that case, exposed skin can freeze in as quickly as 30 minutes.

 

On the other hand, hypothermia is when a person experiences abnormally low body temperature (usually below 95 degrees Fahrenheit). Warnings of hypothermia include incoherence, severe (and uncontrollable) shivering, slurred speech, memory loss, and exhaustion.

 

Here are a few tips on dealing with the extreme cold:

 

–IF YOU EXPERIENCE HYPOTHERMIA OR FROSTBITE, it is very important that the area should be SLOWLY re-warmed. Heating the victim too quickly can lead to dilated blood vessels which can lead to a fall in blood pressure to the vital organs and send the person into cardiac arrest, possibly resulting in death.  Obviously, if either extremity occurs, seek medical attention immediately.

 

–Wear layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing. Trapped air between layers of clothing will provide insulation to keep you warm. The exterior layer should be tightly woven and water repellent.

 

–Wear a winter cap. Keeping your dome warm is vital because 40% of your body heat can be lost from your head if not adequately covered.

 

–Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from inhaling cold air. Breathing in freezing air can lead to chest pains, a sporadic distribution of oxygen from the lungs, and can trigger asthma attacks.

 

From all of us at Rocking M Radio, be sure to stay safe and be warm this holiday season!

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