As the majority of the country experiences the negative effects of a particularly brutal winter, it is important to remember how to protect yourself from frigid temperatures. Ice, snow, and subzero wind chills can quickly put your body at risk. Whenever you expose yourself to the elements for an extended period of time, it is critical to take the necessary precautions. If not, you could experience the symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia within minutes. Frostbite is a loss of feeling in your extremities, coupled with a tingling situation and damage to your skin. The first sign of frostbite typically involves numbness in your fingers and difficulty with dexterity. It may be hard to hold onto objects or even bend your fingers. Hypothermia occurs when your body undergoes a significant drop in temperature. If you are suffering from hypothermia, your body temperature will dip below 95 degrees Fahrenheit and you will experience a lack of coordination and slurred speech. Since your body is incredibly cold, most people begin to shiver uncontrollably. If you believe you are suffering from frostbite and immediate care is not available, do your best to warm your body parts up as much as possible. Applying a dry, sterile dressing to frostbitten areas can also prevent further harm. In terms of hypothermia, getting out of the cold is the best way to stay safe until you can seek medical care. If you or someone you know is suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, contact your doctor or call 911 immediately.
How to Protect Your Car in Frigid Temperatures
Your car is working overtime during the winter, because it must contend with snow-covered, icy roads, as well as bitterly cold air. If your vehicle breaks down or malfunctions, it is crucial to know how to properly handle the situation. To begin, it is important to stay calm until help arrives. Stay in your car while you wait, so you are sheltered from the harsh elements. Also, every driver should keep a safety kit in the trunk of his or her car. According to Steve Waggoner, owner of General Building Supply in Huntington, West Virginia, a comprehensive safety kit can be purchased for less than $40.
Important car safety kit items include:
- De-ice lock lubricant
- Warning lights
- Ice melt
- Windshield scraper
- Jumper cables
- Bottled water
If you have ever tried to start your car in subzero temperatures, you know the deflating feeling that comes when you turn your key and hear radio silence. Car batteries are prone to die in extreme cold, so it is wise to replace a battery that is over three years old. In addition, without functioning heat, the inside temperature of your vehicle can quickly match the outside temperature. If possible, warm yourself by using coats and blankets and try to find shelter nearby. The dead of winter can be an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous time of year – unless you use common sense and take the easy precautions that will keep you and your car safe.