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5 Ways to Stay Safe As Temperatures Plummet During Winter Storm Grayson

From TIME - January 3, 2018

The cold snap plaguing large swaths of the country is set to continueand, in many areas, intensifythis week, as a bomb cyclone approaching the East Coast threatens to deliver frigid temperatures and possible blizzard conditions.

With dangerously low temperatures, not to mention wind chill, bearing down upon us, we asked Matthew Levy, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, how to best protect yourself from the snow and cold during Winter Storm Grayson.

Minimize time outside

Its much easier to keep somebody warm than it is to have to re-warm them once they start to get cold, Levy says. This is where an ounce of prevention goes a long way.

Levy says conditions such as hypothermia (dangerously low internal body temperature) and frostbite (freezing of the skin and underlying tissues) arent out of the question during serious storms, especially for the elderly, the young and those with chronic medical conditions.

With that in mind, try to limit time in the cold and layer properly for any outdoor excursions. Cover as much of your skin as possible, Levy suggests, and pay particular attention to exposed skin such as your hands and face. If you notice your skin starting to change color or taking on a waxy appearance, you may be in danger of developing frostbite.

Limit physical activity

When its this cold out, [people are] under increased physical and physiologic stress and they need to not overdo it, Levy cautions. Shoveling snow, for example, can place quite a bit of strain on your heart, especially in frigid temperatures. Shoveling snow is a lot of physical exertion, and if youre not in good physical shape this isnt the time to stress your body that way, Levy says.

Be cautious with generators

Have backup plans

Stay vigilant

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