Page 43 - The Carolinas Today Winter 2015
P. 43

During Winter Storms and Extreme Cold

Stay indoors during the storm.

Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways. 

Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack―a major 

cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when 

possible, and lift lighter loads.

Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. 

Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.

Signs of Frostbite: Occurs when the skin and body tissue just beneath 

it freezes. Loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities, 

such as fingers, toes, earlobes, face, and the tip of the nose.

What to Do: Cover exposed skin, but do not rub the affected area in an attempt to warm it up. 

Seek medical help immediately.

Signs of Hypothermia: Dangerously low body temperature. Uncontrollable shivering, memory 

loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.

What to Do: If symptoms of hypothermia are detected take the person’s temperature. If it is 

below 95°, seek medical attention immediately. Get the victim to a warm location. Remove wet 

clothing. Warm the center of the body first by wrapping the person in blankets or putting on 

dry clothing. Give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Seek medical help 


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

recommends, if you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care. 

Because frostbite and hypothermia both result from exposure, first 

determine whether the victim also shows signs of hypothermia. Hypothermia 

is a more serious medical condition and requires emergency medical 


Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel 

alone; keep others informed of your schedule; stay on main roads and avoid back 

road shortcuts.

Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect 

to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your 

predetermined route.	43

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