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Be prepared for extreme cold

Published on January 28, 2019

Be prepared for extreme cold

Bobbie J. Bertram, APRN, CNP
Trauma Services Nurse Practitioner
CentraCare Health

Be Prepared For Extreme ColdIf the weather forecasts are accurate, the final few days of January will be extremely cold. Even by Minnesotan standards.

St. Cloud State University Meteorology Professor Bob Weisman reports that wind chills will range from -30 to -50 degrees from tomorrow through Wednesday — the coldest air that Minnesota has experienced in 10 years.

In these conditions, exposed skin can freeze in 10 minutes or less. Learn more about how to recognize and treat frostbite.

In these extreme conditions, vehicles can struggle to operate. And if you are able to get your car to start, roads can be slick due to snow and black ice caused by vehicle exhaust.

If you must travel during these conditions, prepare for an emergency by making sure your gas tank is at least one-half full. Also be sure to pack a Winter Driving Survival Kit that includes the following:

  • Cell phone adapter that works with your vehicle
  • Snacks
  • Booster cables
  • Shovel
  • Sleeping bags or blankets
  • Heavy-duty winter clothing, such as a heavy coat and snow pants or a snowmobile suit
  • Extra scarves and mittens
  • Heavy boots

If you become stranded, stay in your vehicle as it may be the safest place. Call 911 for help. Follow instructions from the authorities and don’t hang up until you know who you have spoken with and what will happen next.

Review more winter survival tips from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Health information accessed through www.centracare.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We strive to present reliable, up-to-date health information on our web site and “For the Health of It” blog. However, this information is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or prescribing. Please contact your health care provider if you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health. Log in to MyChart to send a secure message to your provider.

About the Author

Bobbie J. Bertram, APRN, CNP

Bobbie J. Bertram, APRN, CNP
Trauma Services Nurse Practitioner
CentraCare Health
Learn more about Bobbie

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