Cold weather can be dangerous if you’re not prepared. The American Red Cross reminds people to take precautions against the cold. More American Red Cross disaster preparedness information is available at www.redcross.org.

Protect Yourself from Freezing Temperatures

Avoid unnecessary exposure to the cold. Be aware of both the temperature and the wind chill when planning outdoor activities. When you prepare to go outside in severe cold weather, please remember the following:

Most of your body heat is lost through your head so wear a hat, preferably one that covers your ears.

Dressing in layers helps you retain heat. You can remove layers as needed if you become too warm.

Mittens provide more warmth to your hands than gloves.

Wear waterproof, insulated boots to help avoid hypothermia or frostbite by keeping your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.

Get out of wet clothes immediately and warm the core body temperature with a blanket or warm fluids like hot cider or soup. Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol if you expect you or someone you are trying to help has hypothermia or frostbite.

Recognize the symptoms of hypothermia that can be a serious medical condition: confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Seek medical attention immediately if you have these symptoms.

Recognize frostbite warning signs: gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, waxy feeling skin. Seek medical attention immediately if you have these symptoms.