Extreme cold consist of temperatures significantly colder than normal. Extremely cold conditions can cause a number of health and safety concerns, including frostbite, hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning and fires (from alternative heating sources).
In general, if you are experiencing extremely cold conditions you should:
- Be aware of the fire danger from space heaters and candles; keep such devices away from all flammable materials.
- Install recommended smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (at least one of each per floor in your home).
Stay indoors and use safe heating sources.
- Indoors, do not use charcoal or other fuel-burning devices, such as grills, that produce carbon monoxide.
- Outdoors, stay dry and in wind protected areas.
- Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
Wear mittens, a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids and eat high-caloric foods.
- Watch for signs of frostbite-- Skin appears white and waxy, numbness or no feeling in that area and/or possible blisters.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia-- Shivering and numbness, confusion or dizziness, stumbling and weakness, slow or slurred speech and shock.
- If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of hypothermia or frostbite go to a medical facility immediately.