DEC offers advice on keeping warm in the cold

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Dangerous wind chills of -10° to -25° are expected Friday evening through 7 a.m. on Sunday. This can cause frostbite to exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation advises those who venture into the outdoors to take following steps to avoid frostbite and hypothermia:

  • Wear items of clothing to cover all skin including:
  • Layers of synthetic or wool winter clothing
  • Warm socks and winter boots
  • Insulated, wind resistant upper and lower outer shell
  • Hat and gloves or mittens
  • Scarf or ski mask
  • Goggles or glasses
     
  • Hike, snowshoe, and ski on low elevation, wooded trails
  • Spend only short periods of time in the outdoors
  • Avoid high elevation summits and other exposed areas
  • Winds will create low wind chill temperatures band white out conditions
  • If you do go despite the warnings, be sure to carry a sleeping bag and shelter.
     
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Hypothermia

Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can cause hypothermia, especially in children and the elderly.
Watch for these symptoms:

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Exhaustion
  • Uncontrollable shivering, followed by a sudden lack of shivering

If the persons body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, get emergency medical assistance immediately! Remove wet clothing, wrap the victim in warm blankets and give warm, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated liquids until help arrives.


Frostbite

People working or playing outdoors during the winter can develop frostbite and not even know it. There is no pain associated with the early stages of frostbite, so learn to watch for these danger signs:
First, the skin may feel numb and become flushed. Then it turns white or grayish-yellow. Frostbitten skin feels cold to the touch.
If frostbite is suspected, move the victim to a warm area. Cover the affected area with something warm and dry. Never rub it!
Then get to a doctor or hospital as quickly as possible.

source: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/winter/outdoor.cfm

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