Rhode Islanders Urged to Take Precautions During Extreme Cold; Communities Offer Warming Centers

 

Colder than normal temperatures and wind chills are predicted for Rhode Island through the weekend. The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) reminds all Rhode Islanders of the following tips to stay safe during extreme cold:

  • Dress warmly, and in layers, even if you are just making a short trip to the mailbox. If you fall or a door locks behind you, you could be exposed for a longer period of time than you planned.
  • Dress warmly even when you are inside—especially if you do not move a lot.
  • The temperature inside your home should be set according to your own activity level, health, and medications. What is an acceptable, fuel-saving temperature for an active family may not be safe for an older person who has difficulty moving or takes certain medications.
  • The elderly are especially susceptible to extremely cold temperatures. Check on elderly friends, family, or neighbors frequently.
  • Remove clothing if it gets damp or wet. Wet clothing can make you more prone to hypothermia.
  • Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Symptoms of frostbite can include loss of feeling and loss of color and usually happens on the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Symptoms of hypothermia in adults can include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, drowsiness, or slurred speech. In infants, symptoms of hypothermia can include bright red, cold skin and low energy.
  • Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol lowers the body’s ability to retain heat.
  • Make sure your car is ready for the extreme weather conditions. Get your vehicle winterized and make sure tires are in good condition. Check your car emergency kit and replace any items that are broken or are unsafe to use.
  • Call 511 or visit www.tmc.dot.ri.gov for current road conditions.