Extreme Temperatures: What To Do During a Winter Storm

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  • Listen to the radio (NOAA Weather Radio for frequent updates) or television for weather reports and emergency information.

  • Eat regularly and drink ample fluids but avoid caffeine and alcohol.

  • Dress for the season. Wear layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat: most body heat is lost through the top of the head. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

  • Be careful when shoveling snow. Over-exertion can bring on a heart attack -- a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside and don't overexert yourself.

  • Watch for signs of frostbite. Loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.

  • Watch for signs of hypothermia. Uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. Get medical help as soon as possible.

  • When at home, conserve fuel by keeping your home cooler than normal. Temporarily "close off" heat to some rooms.

  • When using kerosene heaters, maintain ventilation to avoid buildup of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.