How to Stay Safe in the Cold Weather

Winter continues its firm grip on the eastern half of the country and the American Red Cross is responding.

People are without power, icy roads are creating hazardous driving conditions and record low temperatures will hover into the weekend. The Red Cross is also operating warming stations where people can get a hot drink and something to eat.

MORE SNOW, BITTER COLD TO COME Elsewhere, more snow, wind, ice and bitter cold temperatures are possible for the eastern half of the country through the weekend. Wind chill advisories and warnings are up and some areas could see some of its coldest weather since the mid-1990s. The South could see more bad weather in the next few days and more snow is predicted from the Great Lakes to New England. This weather is extremely dangerous and people in its path should follow these safety steps:


  • Wear layers of clothing to stay warm, along with a hat, mittens and waterproof, insulated boots. This video offers more information on how to dress for the cold.
  • Avoid frozen pipes – run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. Visit here for more information.
  • Be extremely careful if you have to shovel snow. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
  • Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.
  • Don’t forget your pets – bring them indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water. We have additional information available here.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
  • Avoid driving on snow-covered roads if possible. If travel is necessary, keep adisaster supplies kit in your vehicle
  • If your car breaks down, do not try to walk to safety. Tie a bright cloth to the antenna. Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour, making sure the exhaust pipe is clear. Keep one window away from the wind slightly open.
  • Download the American Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available in your app store. See all Red Cross apps at

Originally posted February 19, 2015 by the American Red Cross, Original Article

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