How to ward off the cold

With predictions of continued frigid weather, including wind gusts of up to 40 mph and wind chills of -15 to -20 degrees, across The Observer’s coverage area, here are some tips from the Essex County Office of Emergency Management.

* Clothing: Dress in layers. Cover exposed skin, and wear a hat and gloves.

* Stay dry: Moisture, even sweat, increases heat loss. * Stay hydrated: Increased hydration means increased blood flow and less chance of frostbite.

* Frostbite: Signs of frostbite include white, gray, numb, or waxy skin. Victims are often unaware of frostbite until someone else notices it. Frostbite victims should be brought indoors and gently warmed with body heat or warm water. Never use a heating pad, oven or other source of extreme heat, as numb skin will burn easily.

* Hypothermia: Persons with a low body temperature will exhibit slurred speech, drowsiness, low energy, or shaking of the hands. Hypothermia victims should be brought to a warm indoor location as quickly as possible and have their body warmed as quickly as possible. Body temperatures below 95 degrees require immediate medical attention.

And from The Observer: During extreme weather, you might also consider checking up on your neighbors, particularly senior citizens. Do they need any help? Do they have heat and hot water? If they are unable to leave home, offer to run errands, such as food shopping.

The Observer Staff