Feb 12, 2021

St. Joseph Health Department warns about dangers of bitter cold weather

Posted Feb 12, 2021 2:11 PM


St. Joseph Post

The City of St. Joseph Health Department warns people to be cautious in the below freezing temperatures this weekend. Health Educator Nancy King for the City of St. Joseph Health Department says certain people are at more risk for the cold affecting their health.

"Those at most risk are people who work outside, people in poor physical condition, elderly, infants, people with chronic health conditions," King tells St. Joseph Post.

King says to wear layers when outdoors in these below freezing temperatures.

"If you have to be outdoors try to do the most activity during the warmest part of the day which is usually 10 a.m. to 3 p.m," says King. "Make sure you're wearing a hat, good coat, warm gloves, waterproof boots with socks, and make sure you have appropriate clothing on."

The National Weather Service predicts the temperatures for tonight to be as low as -2 degrees with a wind chill value between -10 and -15. Saturday night will have a low of around -5 degrees. Sunday will be mostly cloudy all day with a high near 1 degree. Sunday night will have a low of around -11 degrees and a chance of precipitation. Monday we are looking at a high of 2 degrees with a chance of precipitation. Monday night will be low around -11 degrees.

King says having someone to work with you outside is always a good idea.

"Using a buddy system is good. If you work outside, have a buddy that you're working with that can kind of touch base and make sure that you are not exhibiting any signs of hypothermia," says King.

King says to avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine if you're going to be outside in the bitter cold.

"Increase your fluid intake by drinking juice, water, sports drink, warm fluids, but avoid alcohol and caffeine. That can affect the way your body handles cold."

King says elderly and adults in poor health conditions should stay out of the below freezing temperatures.

"Try to stay indoors and in a warm area," says King. "If you need help or assistance please don't be afraid to reach out to ask somebody if you are needing help due to cold temperatures."

She says some medications can affect your response to the bitter cold temperatures.

"Talk to your doctor about your medications you may be taking to see how they may impact (you) when you're outside," says King.

King adds it's important to check on your neighbors who are elderly or are in poor physical condition.

"The state has a toll-free hotline where you can make a report of senior citizens or adults with disabilities who are in need of assistance due to cold temperatures. That number is 1-800-392-0210," says King.

King again says to dress appropriately when heading outdoors.

"When you do go outside make sure that you're dressing appropriately and that you're wearing a nice winter coat, a hat, scarf, gloves or mittens, waterproof warm boots," says King.

King says it's important to keep an eye on the temperature and the weather to know how to properly respond each day.