Protect Yourself from Life Threatening Cold

snow covered streetDangerous cold is threatening Iowa and the rest of the Midwest for the next few days.  While cold and winter are familiar partners this time of year, what will be experienced in the coming hours and days is something very out of the ordinary.  At times, the record chill in the air could be enough to damage skin in a matter of minutes.  Bottom line, those are not the kind of conditions many need to be out in.

With that in mind, we wanted to provide a few tips, even if some are common sense.  It is up to everyone to not only protect themselves but others around them who could get into trouble.

If you must venture out, it is strongly recommended that you put as many layers between yourself and the elements as possible.  This, by no means, makes you immune to the cold, but it buys you precious minutes.  That’s why if you must venture out, all measures should be taken to limit your time outdoors even with appropriate winter apparel.

If your body parts begin to feel numb, or turn red, it is time to seek shelter IMMEDIATELY.  Many people often say that after feeling numb, they do not notice that they’re slipping into dangerous frostbite conditions.  In extreme cases, such a condition could cause a person to permanently lost the function of some body parts including toes, fingers and other extremities.

If you experience a power outage, or lose heat in your home, the same rules apply.  Fortunately, although uncomfortably cold, most homes should protect you from the terrible winds that compound the problem when out in the elements.  Still, if you know anyone, especially those who are confined to their homes, please keep in touch with them in order to prevent them from running into problems that could endanger their lives.

One final point we’d like to mention, fires and flames outside the confines of a well-maintained fireplace should NEVER be used for heat in a home.  This time of year, sources of heat such as this often sparks fires that can damage or destroy your home.

These are just some of the simple steps that you need to keep in mind.  We urge everyone to use as much caution as possible in the hours ahead.  While this is not an event like a tornado, or a blizzard, this is a situation that can quickly take a turn for the worse – quickly!  Working together, we all will get through this unscathed and unharmed.  If all else fails and you DO run into problems, be sure to contact your local authorities as soon as possible.  On behalf of everyone with the Iowa Storm Chasing Network we hope all of you stay safe through this dangerous cold snap.

Zach Sharpe

My name is Zach Sharpe. I am the president and forecaster for the Iowa Storm Chasing Network. You can find me on Twitter @Stormchaserzach and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/stormchaserzach/

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