At home or in a building:
  • Stay inside.
  • When using an alternative heat source, use fire safeguards and properly ventilate.

    If no heat:
  • Close off unnecessary rooms.
  • Stuff towels or rags into cracks under doors.
  • Cover windows at night.
  • Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.

    If in a vehicle:
  • Stay in your vehicle unless shelter can be seen just yards away.  
             Disorientation occurs quickly in wind-driven snow and cold.
  • Run the motor about 10 minutes each hour for heat.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked.
  • Keep a window cracked to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Exercise from time to time by vigorously moving arms, legs, fingers and toes to keep
    blood circulating and to keep warm.
  • Make yourself visible to rescuers: Tie a colored cloth (preferably red) to your antenna
    or door; Turn on dome light at night when running the engine; Raise the hood indicating
    trouble after snow stops falling.

    If outside:
  • Find shelter.
  • If no shelter is available, prepare a lean-to, windbreak or snow cave for protection.
  • Try to stay dry.
  • Cover all exposed parts of the body.
  • If possible, build a fire for heat and to attract attention.
  • Exercise from time to time by vigorously moving arms, legs, fingers and toes to keep
    blood circulating and to keep warm.
  • Do not eat snow. Melt it into water.

    Extreme Cold

    Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops. Warning signs are: uncontrollable
    shivering, loss of memory, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and
    apparent exhaustion.  If a person’s body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit,
    seek help immediately!  Frostbite occurs when body tissue freezes, damaging the tissue.
    Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities, such as
    fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose.  If symptoms are detected, get medical help

    If unable to get medical help:
  • Warm the person slowly.
  • Warm the body core first. Do not warm extremities first as this drives the cold blood
    toward the heart and can lead to heart failure.
  • Get the person into dry clothing and wrapped in a warm blanket, covering the head
    and neck.
  • Do not give the person alcohol, drugs, coffee or any hot beverage or food. Warm soup
    is best.

    To prevent hypothermia and frostbite:
  • Stay inside during extreme cold spells or heavy snowstorms.
  • Avoid overexertion – the strain from the cold and hard labor may lead to a heart attack
    and sweating can lead to a chill and hypothermia.
  • If you must go out, dress appropriately. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing in
    several layers.

    Other clothing tips:
  • Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded.
  • Wear a hat. Over half of your body heat loss can be from your head.
  • Cover your mouth (using a scarf, etc.) to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
  • Mittens, snug at the wrist are better than gloves for protecting the hands.