Extreme Cold Is Here; Ten Important Things To Remember
Extremely cold weather had moved over West Michigan. Temperatures in some places will go below zero at night. Here are 10 things to remember for the next few nights.
The National Weather Services say overnight lows for the next few nights will be right around zero degrees with wind chills making it feel like 10 below zero and colder. "Exposure to these temperatures could potentially cause frostbite and hypothermia, as well as create hazardous driving conditions" says the Michigan Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
This pattern will happen again this weekend and into New Year's Day.
The Michigan State Police has a list of ten things to keep in mind in extremely cold weather like this and to stay safe during cold weather:
- Stay indoors if possible. but if you have to go outside, make sure you wear protective gear. (hats, mittens, gloves, scarf and a warm coat.)
- If you have to drive, keep a full tank of gas and an emergency kit in your car or truck. (warm clothing, gloves, hats and blankets, in case your car slides off the road or gets stranded. A charging cable and car adapter are critical, too.
- Avoid overexerting yourself, when shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car, or walking in deep snow. Take lots of breaks.
- Look for signs of frostbite. This means losing feeling in your fingers, toes or face, and pale skin color.
- Hypothermia, which can be things like uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, drowsiness and exhaustion.
- MSP says understand the dangers of wind chill. "As wind speed increases, heat is carried away from a person's body more rapidly and could lead to severe hypothermia."
- Get rid of clothing if it gets damp or wet. Wet clothing makes it easier to get hypothermia.
Here are some factors to consider for other than your own body.
- 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 help.
- Watch pets closely and keep them indoors as much as possible. Even if you animal is begging to go outside, animals alsi suffer from hypothermia, frostbite and other cold weather injuries.
If you do travel in Michigan, a quick check of the state website for driving conditions is a good idea.