|
|
|
Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Surviving in the cold weather

  • With the extreme cold temperatures taking place, various organizations have provided tips on how you can survive the cold.
    • email print
  • With the extreme cold temperatures taking place, various organizations have provided tips on how you can survive the cold.
    National Safety Council
    Avoiding frostbite and hypothermia
    Dress properly:
    Wear several layers of clothing to insulate your body by trapping warm, dry air inside. Wool and polypropylene best trap air and do not retain moisture. Choose a coat with a wind and waterproof outer layer.
    The head and neck lose heat faster than any other part of the body. Your cheeks, ears and
    nose are the most prone to frostbite. Wear a hat, scarf and turtleneck sweater to protect
    these areas.
    Frostbite:
    What to look for
    The extent of frostbite is difficult to judge until hours after thawing. There are two
    classifications of frostbite:
    Superficial frostbite is characterized by white, waxy or grayish-yellow patches on the affected areas. The skin feels cold and numb. The skin surface feels stiff and
    underlying tissue feels soft when depressed.
    Deep frostbite is characterized by waxy and pale skin. The affected parts feel
    cold, hard, and solid and cannot be depressed. Large blisters may appear after
    rewarming.
    What to do
    Get the victim out of the cold and to a warm place immediately.
    Remove any constrictive clothing items and jewelry that could impair circulation.
    If you notice signs of frostbite, seek medical attention immediately.
    Place dry, sterile gauze between toes and fingers to absorb moisture and to keep them from sticking together.
    Slightly elevate the affected part to reduce pain and swelling.
    If you are more than one hour from a medical facility and only if refreezing can be prevented, then frostbite can be rewarmed by immersing the area in lukewarm, not hot water (100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit). If you do not have a thermometer,
    Page 2 of 7 - test the water first to see if it is warm.
    Rewarming usually takes 20 to 45 minutes
    or until tissues soften.
    What not to do
    Do not use water hotter than 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Do not use water colder than 100 degrees Fahrenheit since it will not thaw frostbite quickly enough.
    Do not rub or massage the frostbite area.
    Do not rub with ice or snow.
    Do not apply a heat source to frostbitten skin.
    Hypothermia:
    Hypothermia occurs when the body loses more heat than it produces. Symptoms include change in mental status, uncontrollable shivering, cool abdomen and a low core body
    temperature.
    Severe hypothermia may cause rigid muscles, dark and puffy skin, irregular
    heartbeat and respiration, and unconsciousness.
    Treat hypothermia by protecting the victim from further heat loss and seeking immediate
    medical attention. Get the victim out of the cold.
    Add insulation such as blankets, pillows, towels or newspapers beneath and around the victim.
    Be sure to cover the victim's head. Replace wet clothing with dry clothing.
    Handle the victim gently because rough handling can cause cardiac arrest. Keep the victim in a horizontal (flat) position.
    Finally, the best way to avoid frostbite and hypothermia is to stay out of the cold. Read a
    book, clean house or watch TV. Be patient and wait out the dangerous cold weather.
    Humane Society
    Pet Safety
    If possible, bring your pets inside during cold winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water.
    If pets cannot come indoors, make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free enclosure large enough to allow them to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in the pet's body heat.
    Page 3 of 7 - Raise the floor a few inches off the ground and cover it with cedar shavings or straw. Turn the enclosure away from the wind and cover the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
    Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet's paws. Wipe their paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.
    Antifreeze is a deadly poison. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach.
    Dessin Animal Shelter
    More Pet Safety
    "Little dogs shouldn't be out at all in this kind of weather," said Debbie Moore, manager of Dessin. "They don't do well in the cold. They can be easily trained to use wee wee pads."
    She said that outside dogs need to be protected from the elements.
    "Keep checking their water since it can freeze quick," Moore stated. "When it reaches single digits no dog should be left outside. Don't let any animals go unattended, especially the little ones. If you have jackets for them, that shouldn't be used as a reason to keep them out longer."
    She added that you should make sure cats have something to go into to be protected from the elements.
    In another note, Claude is still available for adoption. He is the oldest beagle that was rescued from a residence on Haggs Road in Dreher Township.
    Fish and Boat Commission
    Tips for Ice Anglers
    Always bring someone along and let others know where you are going and when you expect to return
    Layering:
    The first layer should be thermal underwear followed by insulating fleece, wool or flannel pants and shirts. The outside layer should be a windproof and waterproof jacket or down-filled coat with a hood.
    Don't forget a warm wool, fleece or knit hat.
    Feet and Hands:
    Wear insulated waterproof or rubber boots, liner socks with a pair of thick wool or non-cotton socks, keep your boots loose to avoid cutting off warm circulation to your feet, wear neoprene or waterproof nylon mittens to protect your hands from the icy water or wear thin rubber gloves (hospital type) under mittens to allow flexibility.
    Page 4 of 7 - Bring with you:
    A small bag of sand to sprinkle around your ice hole for better traction
    Extra dry clothes and socks in case you get wet
    Energy-rich snacks and warm drinks
    A coil of rope in case someone falls through the ice
    A small first aid kit
    Matches stored in a waterproof container or 35mm film canister if you need to start a fire
    Homemade ice awls carried in an easily accessible outer pocket
    A PFFD seat cushion to use as a seat or flotation in case of an emergency, hand warmers
    Things not to do:
    Fish on ice that's less than 4 inches thick
    Avoid areas where there are feeder streams and springs
    Avoid dark honeycombed or porous ice
    If you fall in:
    Remain calm
    Use ice awls to pull yourself onto the ice
    Try swimming out if you don't have awls, which lets your body rise up and allow you to get onto firm ice
    Use your legs to kick behind you to keep from being pulled under
    Slip your boots off to make treading water easier
    Keep your clothes on because they will insulate you from the cold water
    Once on the ice stay low and distribute your weight over as much surface area as possible
    Know when to quit:
    If you become wet immediately change into dry clothes and seek warm shelter
    Watch out for frostbite and treat it with warm water
    Watch out for hypothermia and treat it with fluids, dry clothes, a blanket and warm shelter
    Stop fishing if you become tired or cold
    AAA
    Page 5 of 7 - Driving Tips
    Avoid driving while you're fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
    Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
    Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
    Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
    Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
    If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
    Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
    Always look and steer where you want to go.
    Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
    Long-distance winter trips:
    Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
    Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
    Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
    Pack a cellular telephone with your local AAA's telephone number, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
    If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don't try to walk in a severe storm. It's easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
    Don't over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
    Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
    Make sure the exhaust pipe isn't clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
    Page 6 of 7 - Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
    If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.
    Driving in the snow
    Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids.
    Don't try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight.
    Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
    Drive slowly
    Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
    The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
    Know your brakes
    Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
    Don't stop if you can avoid it. There's a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
    Don't power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
    Don't stop going up a hill. There's nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
    Stay home. If you really don't have to go out, don't. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don't tempt fate: If you don't have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.
    Page 7 of 7 - Red Cross
    Below-freezing temperatures have now hit much of the U.S., with some areas getting walloped with snow as well.
    With this arctic air comes a greater risk of frostbite, hypothermia and other dangers.
    Outdoor Safety
    Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supply kit in your vehicle.
    Before you take on any strenuous work in cold temperatures—such as shoveling snow—consider your physical condition, the weather and the nature of the task. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated while working, and avoid overexertion.
    Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.
    Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of hypothermia, including confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Also seek immediate medical attention if you have symptoms of frostbite: these include numbness; flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration; and waxy-feeling skin.
    In the Home
    To help prevent pipes from freezing, let cold water drip from faucets served by exposed pipes. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage, and open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
    Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
    Keep all fuel-burning equipment vented to the outside and well away from your home.
    Never use a stove or oven to heat your home. Keep a glass or metal fire screen around the fireplace and never leave a fireplace fire unattended.
    If using a space heater, follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to safely use the heater. Place it on a level, hard, nonflammable surface. Turn the space heater off when you leave the room or go to sleep. Keep children and pets away from your space heater, and do not use it to dry wet clothing.
    Remember to check on those who may require special assistance, such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
      • calendar