1/6/2014 4:32 PM
by Stuart Hammer
BECKLEY - It can take just minutes for frostbite and hypothermia to set in with sub-zero wind chill.
Officials say the best advice is to just stay indoors away of the arctic air, but if you have to go outside, officials at Raleigh Co. General Hospital encourage you to remember the acronym COLD:
C - exposed skin should be covered
O - be careful of over-exertion
L - dress in layers
D - monitor potential dehydration
Paul Bailey, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Raleigh Co. Hospital says many people take the cold for granted.
"Most people will overestimate the amount of layers that they need and they begin to sweat... When they sweat and get wet, that's just setting themselves up for hypothermia."
There is also a threat looming that you may not think about.
"There is a significant threat for people to become dehydrated in the winter, we usually think of dehydration as more of a summer thing with heat stroke and heat exhaustion. And one of the reasons is your thirst mechanisim doesn't work as efficiently in the winter as it does in the summer."
Officials also suggest you check your vehicle's fluids, tire pressure, and pack extra blankets, hats, and gloves in case you get stranded.