With temperatures in the single digits this week and even dipping into the negatives, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office is offering tips to stay safe in cold weather.
“Temperatures and wind-chills that we will be experiencing are very hazardous situations,” Sheriff Rob Maciol said in a news release. “Residents are encouraged to monitor local weather reports and follow the appropriate steps to stay safe during these extremely cold and potentially life-threatening temperatures.”
Frigid temperatures can cause frostbite and hypothermia, and they can also create hazardous driving conditions, Maciol said. To keep safe this week and during the holiday weekend, the Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips:
- Stay indoors if possible. If you must go outside, dress in layers along with wearing protective gear, such as hats, mittens, gloves, scarf and a warm coat.
- Avoid overexertion when shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car, or walking in deep snow. Take breaks frequently.
- Watch for signs of frostbite, which include loss of feeling or pale appearance of fingers, toes or face.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia, which include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, drowsiness and exhaustion.
- Understand the hazards of wind chill. As wind speed increases, heat is carried away from a person’s body more rapidly and could lead to severe hypothermia.
- Remove clothing if it gets damp or wet. Wet clothing can make you more prone to hypothermia.
- Weatherproof doors and windows to trap heat inside your home.
- Check heating units. Poorly operating or damaged heating units can release carbon monoxide gas. Test carbon monoxide detectors for proper operation and battery life.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance.
- Watch pets closely and keep them indoors when possible. Animals can suffer from hypothermia, frostbite and other cold weather injuries.
- Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a full tank of gas and an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. Put warm clothing, such as gloves, blankets and hats, in your kit in case you become stranded.
- The Sheriff also recommends that motorists not leave their vehicles, but stay inside them and wait for help should they become stuck or disabled.
- Motorists are encouraged to check travel conditions and weather reports before driving.