The snow is whipping and the wind is howling here in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and temperatures are actually plunging down into the single digits and even negatives. It is strongly advised not to go out into the elements when the cold is this severe, but in the case that a few brave souls are still going to, here are some tips to make sure you stay warm.
- Wear thermals, long socks, jackets, sweaters, vests, gloves, scarves, hats and hand warmers. Pack extra coats if need be as well.
- Be prepared for the conditions: have a heated place you can go to if the cold is just too much.
- Wear waterproof boots that have good gripping.
- Wear thin gloves under mittens for extra warmth and protection.
- Bring warm food-soups, noodles, and hot drinks can all be packed in thermoses. They’ll warm you up from the inside out and keep you cheerful.
- Check out our guide for seven ways to avoid frostbite.
If you or anyone else is unlucky enough to get too cold(or not follow the above suggestions,) then here are the signs and symptoms of hypothermia, so that you can detect it before it’s too late.
- Skin that is cold to the touch
- Shivering, then not shivering at all
- Weakness or clumsiness
- Moodiness or irritability
- Confusion, hallucinations, or delirium
- Reflexes are slow
- Seizure or coma
- Shallow breathing
- Irregular or slowed heartbeat
If you do get hypothermic, or you are with someone who becomes hypothermic, here is what to do:
- Don’t stay out in the cold, get in a shelter if you can.
- Take off cold, wet clothing and wrap up in warm, dry blankets.
- Put heat packs under the arms and on chest, neck, and groin.
- Sit down and tuck your knees into your chest.
- Do NOT apply direct heat to arms and legs since this can force cold blood back to the heart.
- Do NOT rub the skin.