Are you ready for extreme cold? As temperatures go below zero this week. Here are some tips from FEMA to keep you safe.

Wear layers to prevent frostbite.

Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

  • Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers, and toes. Signs: Numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, firm or waxy skin. Actions: Go to a warm room. Soak in warm water. Use body heat to warm. Do not massage or use a heating pad.
  • Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency. Signs: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, or drowsiness.  Actions: Go to a warm room. Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head, and groin. Keep dry and wrapped up in warm blankets, including the head and neck.

Listen to local officials.

Your local government agencies (county sheriff, health department, emergency management agency, and more) often provide guidance during storms. Visit your county government’s website or social media pages.  You can also visit the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA) online for statewide information.

Build an emergency car kit.

Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks. Keep the gas tank full.

Charge your devices.

In addition to keeping those cell phones charged, gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.

Check on your neighbors.

Older adults and young children are more at risk in extreme cold.

Check in with friends and family.

Let your family and friends know that you are safe, and make sure they are as well. You might ask them:

  • Do you have enough food, water, medications to last throughout the storm?
  • Are you using a space heater? If yes, make sure it has an auto shut-off in case it tips over. Also keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from a fireplace, wood stove, or space heater.
  • Are your pets safe?
  • Do you have an emergency kit in your car? Is your gas tank full?