Thursday, January 28, 2016

Staying Safe from the Cold Weather

By: Brigitte Yuille, volunteer

Weather experts advise that although temperatures may be unusually high this winter, cold-air outbreaks and snowstorms can be expected. 
Some people enjoy staying home with a hot beverage, a warm and hearty meal, snuggling beneath a cozy blanket beside a crackling fire in the fireplace. As nice as that sounds, you’ll still need to stay active and safe. So, here are three ways to prepare and stay healthy this winter season.

Stay informed

Do you know the winter storm risks, history, and snow management in your area? Find out now so you will know what to expect when a storm hits. Get the details from your local emergency management office. Find out how often service vehicles come through your area, what routes they take, and what snow removal equipment they have available. Also, download the Red Cross emergency app onto your smartphone so you can stay aware of the weather conditions.

Stay safe 

An emergency may mean you’re stuck on the road for hours. So make sure to keep your gas tank full. Check out the car to make sure things like the tire tread, antifreeze level, and the radiator are in good condition. Consider switching out your tires for snow tire.  Also, load up the car with items to keep you comfortable in the event you are trapped on the road. The Centers for Disease and Control suggests having blankets, food and water, booster cables, a flashlight, a first aid kit, a battery-powered radio, batteries, plastic bags, flares, tire pump and a bag of sand or kitty litter to give your car more traction. Keeping the gas tank full also helps avoid the fuel from freezing quickly. Also, consider the safety of your pets. Take measures to keep them nice and warm and bring them inside.


The cold can make it hard to stay motivated, but it's possible to brave the cold temperatures and continue with your exercise routine or to start a new one.
When you are exercising in the cold, make sure to dress in layers. The MayoClinic advises having three layers. The first layer should be made of synthetic material that draws sweat away from the body, the next layer should be fleece or wool, and the top layer should be breathable and waterproof. Wear a hat, mittens or gloves, two layers of socks, and shoes with traction to prevent slipping. Also, don’t forget to replenish your body with fluids. If you're heading out at dusk or in the evening, wear reflective clothing.
Most importantly, pay attention to the wind chill index and the temperature for that day. The wind chill index makes a big difference because the wind can penetrate you clothes and if your skin is uncovered, you can become vulnerable to frostbite.
So, when the wind chill is below zero degrees Fahrenheit, or if it's snowing or raining, those are among the few times you’ll need to postpone your workout.

For more information on how to stay safe during the cold weather, visit winter storm safety


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