While hypothermia generally occurs at very cold temperatures, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that it can happen even at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.
As winter approaches, it's important to know the warning signs of hypothermia and what to do if you notice those signs.
Warnings Signs of Hypothermia
- Body temperature below 95 degrees
- Uncontrollable shivering
- Confusion, fumbling hands
- Memory loss, disorientation
- Incoherence, slurred speech
- Bright red, cold skin
- Very low energy
If someone is suffering from hypothermia, get medical attention immediately and begin warming the person until help arrives. Find several ways to warm a person on the CDC's Hypothermia page.
If you must go outside, prevent hypothermia by:
- Wearing several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
- Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
- Cover all of your body. Wear a hat and a scarf, covering your mouth to protect your face and to help prevent loss of body heat.
For more information on how to prepare for the winter, visit the America's PrepareAthon! Winter Storm section.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), half of all home heating fires occur in December, January and February. So now is the time to make sure your home heating device is safe, before the weather turns bitter cold. Follow these USFA heating tips to maintain a fire safe home this winter.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three (3) feet from all heat sources including fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, space heaters or candles.
- Never use an oven to heat your home.
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
For more information on how to keep specific heating devices safe, such as a furnace, space heater, kerosene heater, fireplace or wood stove, visit the USFA's Heating Fire Safety page.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their Winter Outlook , which predicts La Niña conditions that favor a warmer, drier South and a cooler, wetter North. Winter storms can occur anywhere and bring freezing rain, ice, snow, high winds or a combination of all these conditions. They can cause power outages that last for days or weeks; making it hard to keep warm and making travel very dangerous. Prepare now in case a winter storm hits, and you are home for several days without power and heat.
- Gather emergency supplies, make a family emergency communication plan, and discuss emergency notifications and expectations with your workplace and/or schools.
- Install battery-powered or battery back-up carbon monoxide detectors.
- If you have a generator, keep it outside and have an electric cord long enough to keep the generator at least 20 feet from any door, window, or vent.
- Make specific plans for how you will avoid driving.
- Be alert to changing weather conditions using local alerts, radio, and other news sources for information and instructions.
Find additional tips by visiting the America's PrepareAthon! Winter Storm section and downloading the How to Prepare for a Winter Storm Guide.
In observance of National Native American Heritage Month, FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division and the Office of External Affairs, Tribal Affairs will host a webinar on Wednesday, November 30 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET focusing on disaster preparedness and resilience efforts serving tribal communities. You'll hear several leaders who have worked to put preparedness into action by developing successful community-based initiatives and receive related program resources.
Title: Celebrating National Native American Heritage Month through Community Preparedness
Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET)
- Tim Zientek, Director of Emergency Management, Potawatomi Nation
- Jeff Hansen, Director of Emergency Management, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
- Hailey Starr and Sarah Clark, Muckleshoot Tribal School
- Milo Booth, National Tribal Affairs Advisor, Office of External Affairs, FEMA
How to Join the Webinar:
We hope that you will be able to join us on November 30!
Disclaimer: The reader recognizes that the federal government provides links and informational data on various disaster preparedness resources and events and does not endorse any non-federal events, entities, organizations, services or products. Please let us know about other events and services for individual and community preparedness that could be included in future newsletters by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.