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Preventing frost bite and hypothermia during extreme winter weather

Dec 24, 2020 03:14AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

Photo: WDIO-TV

By Emily Ness of WDIO-TV - December 23, 2020

It is certainly beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but prolonged exposure to the elements can be dangerous—leading to frost bite and hypothermia.

WDIO spoke to the Duluth Fire Department about what you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones warm as temperatures drop.

Before braving the cold, Captain Paul Gucinski of the Duluth Fire Department said it is essential people prepare.

He recommends ensuring you are fed and hydrated, as well as, dressing in layers before braving the elements.

“The severe weather and the cold is not something you want to take lightly,” Gucinski said. "We want to make sure that we’re watching out for our children, watching out for our pets."

Additionally, when out in the elements shoveling, snow plowing or playing, Gucinski said people should avoid overexerting themselves.

“If the body temperature is cold, you want to get to a place that’s nice and warm and bring the body temperature up. If you think you need medical help, call 911 and seek the help of a doctor,” Gucinski said.

Finally, Gucinski said avoiding all unnecessary travel is huge in preventing frost bite and hypothermia. But, if people must travel Gucinski recommends they keep an emergency kit in their car. 

In addition to the more obvious things like warm gear, food and water, that emergency kit could include a cell phone charger, a reflector to use as a distress signal and a tow rope to be pulled out of the ditch with.

“If you were out traveling in severe weather and you were to become stranded in your vehicle, you would want to stay in your vehicle. That's going to be a safe place for you. Call 911 and get some help. If you have an emergency kit, use the things available to you,” Gucinski said.

If you or a loved one do encounter frost bite or hypothermia, Gucinski said the best thing to do is get to a warm place and seek medical attention if necessary.

To see the original report and related articles, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

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