Itasca, IL – An arctic wind blast is expected to impact many parts of the nation this week. The National Safety Council urges Americans to stay indoors as much as possible. However, if you must venture outdoors or drive in bad weather, take precautions to remain safe and warm.
Exposure to low temperatures can result in frostbite and hypothermia. To help reduce cold-related injury, remember to wear several layers of clothing before heading outdoors. Be sure to protect your body and maintain body heat by wearing gloves, a hat, scarf and turtleneck. If you suspect someone has frostbite or hypothermia, immediately get the victim out of the cold. Mild hypothermia can be treated with passive re-warming techniques, including the replacement of wet clothing with dry clothing and covering the victim in blankets. Seek medial attention for severe hypothermia and frostbite.
Snow, ice and high winds also are expected to affect many states. Poor road conditions require sound judgment, patience and flexibility. Drive with caution and be sure to accelerate and brake gently. Leave plenty of distance between your car and other vehicles. Remember, you do not need to drive the speed limit if conditions are poor. Before traveling in bad weather, ask yourself, “Is this trip necessary?”
If the trip is necessary, always let someone know your departure time, expected arrival time and route. Store emergency equipment in your car, including:
- “Call for help” flag or brightly colored item
- Blankets and extra clothing
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Nonperishable, high-energy foods
- First aid and auto tool kits
Temperatures may return to normal by the end of the weekend. In the meantime, check in on elderly family, friends and neighbors.
Visit NSC’s fact sheet library for more information on winter safety.
The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads, through leadership, research, education and advocacy.