It's Cold! Stay Safe from Winter's Bite

 

January 24, 2013

 

Bitterly cold temperatures continue to affect Maine and will for several days. Wild Chill Warnings and Advisories are in effect across much of the State. According to the National Weather Service, extreme cold conditions will continue into the weekend.

In addition to keeping yourself and your family warm and safe, please remember to check on friends and neighbors who may need extra help to stay warm. Keep track of expected temperatures by staying tuned to news broadcasts, or checking National Weather Service forecasts online.

Stay Safe in Cold Weather

  • Dress in layers.
  • Wear a warm hat – 30% of heat loss is through the head.
  • Wear a scarf and gloves.
  • Infants should be in a room in which the temperature is 61-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and warm/hot drinks.
  • Eat regular balanced meals to give you energy – good nutrition is important.
  • Keep active, but not to the point where you’re sweating.
  • Keep dry and change out of wet clothes as soon as possible.
  • Cut down on alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, since all three cause heat loss.
  • Consider closing the door to unused rooms to keep the rooms you use most warm.
  • Ask your doctor if you are on any medications that affect your ability to maintain a steady body temperature (such as neuroleptic medications and sedative hypnotics).
  • Bring your pets indoors except for needed outdoor breaks.

Symptoms of hypothermia include:

  • Decreased consciousness, sleepiness, confusion, and/or disorientation
  • Shivering, pale or blue skin, numbness, poor coordination, slurred speech
  • In severe hypothermia, shivering decreases or goes away, and the person becomes unconscious and has very shallow breaths.
  • Someone who has mild hypothermia may not take action to warm themselves
  • If someone is exhibiting these symptoms, call 9-1-1

Warming centers may open in some areas to provide respite from the cold. Check with your town office or call 211 (dial 2-1-1 toll-free) to see if there is a warming center open in your area.

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