Be prepared and safe in cold weather

By Frank Lewis

January 24, 2014

By Frank Lewis


With wind chill readings of 10-20 below over the next couple of days, those planning to venture outdoors should use common sense and dress warmly, making sure that all exposed skin is covered. Scioto County Health Commissioner, Dr. Aaron Adams says those people who have to work outside should prepare before they step into the cold.

“What people need to do, and particularly those who are able to get out and work in the cold, is to dress warm,” Adams said. “They want to wear clothing that will wick the moisture away from them if they sweat, rather than the cottons that would get wet and stay wet. They would want to layer. Wool is always a great insulation. And, of course, we have all the synthetics that you can use today.”

Adams said one of the most important things people should do is cover their head and their neck to keep heat from escaping from their body.

“You also need to protect your fingers and toes and take breaks; drink fluids if you’re out sweating; drink some (hot) chocolate milk, some warm drinks, and don’t over-indulge in the coffee or the caffeine,” Adams said.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory through 7 p.m. Saturday. Snow should accumulate 2-3 inches before this front ends. Wind chill readings should be in the 10-20 below range, caused mainly by winds of 10-20 miles per hour, gusting to 30 miles per hour.

“Just stay active and try to take breaks and get in out of the cold when you can,” Adams said. “Stay healthy. If you’re sick, getting out in the cold put you at greater risk of becoming sicker. So you want to make sure that, if you’re not well, you shouldn’t be out in that. If you have chronic conditions - heart disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, things of that nature, you want to be real careful about getting out into this kind of weather, particularly if you don’t have to.”

A winter weather advisory for snow means that periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Blowing snow may also limit visibility. The NWS says people should be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibility, and should use caution while driving.

Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.