Tonawanda News — Signs of frostbite are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy and numbness. Warning signs of hypothermia are shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness.
“Spend a little too much time outside, even if it’s not that cold out and you could wind up taking a trip to the emergency room,” Martin said. “Cooling your body temperature just one or two degrees colder than normal could be very serious and you should seek medical care.”
Limiting the amount of skin exposed to the cold is the best to prevent frostbite, but if it does strike, lukewarm water is the best treatment, Martin said.
After a few days of deep cold, however, there’s some relief for weekend in sight, Kelly of the National Weather Service said. As of Thursday, the forecast high for Saturday was 30 degrees, while the forecast high for Sunday was 35 to 36 degrees.COLD SAFETY TIPS • Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat. • After the storm, be extremely careful if you have to shovel snow. It is physically strenuous work, so take frequent breaks and stay hydrated. • Don't forget pets - bring them indoors in cold weather. If pets can't come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water. • Avoid frozen pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage. • If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle which includes a shovel, blanket, flashlight, water, snacks, first aid kit and extra batteries. • Keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing. • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home. • If using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least 3 feet away. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed. • Use generators correctly. Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage. •· Don't hook a generator up to the home's wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. For additional tips, visit www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm. Source: American Red Cross, Western New York/Finger Lakes Region