Most deaths and injuries during winter storms can be prevented! Overexertion in the cold kills many people. The heart and blood vessels constrict in cold conditions to preserve body heat. Too much exertion can cause a heart attack.
When shoveling snow or doing other activities in the cold you should always set a slow pace. Take frequent breaks and warm yourself regularly.
When spending time outdoors in the cold, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight warm clothing. Also don’t forget to wear hats/caps, gloves/mittens, and appropriate footwear. Remove layers of clothing, as needed, to avoid perspiration and subsequent chill.
Sweating can lead to hypothermia (low body temperature). The signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, disorientation, slurred speech, and drowsiness or exhaustion. If the body temperature has dropped below 95 degrees, seek immediate medical help.
Frostbite can also occur from exposure to the cold. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and usually occurs in extremities, such as toes or fingers first.
When treating hypothermia or frostbite, always make sure the affected area is dry and then warm it slowly using blankets! A person suffering from hypothermia must have their chest, neck, and head warmed first.