The coldest time of the year is upon us. 2018 started with a massive winter storm on the East Coast followed by brutally cold conditions. Wind chill warnings were issued in most of the East Coast states. Wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from the exposed skin caused by wind and cold. As wind increases, it draws heat from the body and drives down internal body temperature. For example, at -19 degrees Fahrenheit, exposed skin can freeze in 30 minutes. A massive winter storm, referred to as a "bomb cyclone", traveled up the East Coast, dumped a foot of snow, and created blizzard-like conditions. Several locations experienced record-breaking temperatures. Summit conditions at Mount Washington were so cold that the temperature was the second coldest on Earth. According to Mount Washington Observatory, the temperature hit minus 36 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of minus 90 degrees. Additionally, the strong winds brought coastal flooding that reached historically high levels in some New England communities. Cars were stranded and pedestrians had to be rescued from cold water and ice overflowing into the streets. CBS News confirmed that at least 22 people nationwide have died from the recent blast of the Arctic air that stretched from Maine to Texas. Cold weather safety is a vitally important topic that should be discussed with workers prior to performing any outdoor projects. Cold stress can be a fatal threat: workers exposed to freezing temperatures risk losing body heat, which may lead to frostbite, hypothermia, or death. The signs of cold-related illnesses include paleness of skin, sensation of cold, or pain. When you notice these symptoms, you should quickly go indoors, out of cold, replace cold, damp clothing, with warm, dry clothing, and have some warm food or beverages. Depending on the severity of the situation, heat packs may be needed at the neck and the armpit areas. To prevent serious cold-related injuries, always dress in layers, take frequent breaks, stay hydrated by drinking warm liquids, and consume warm foods, like soup, that will keep you warm during extremely cold temperatures.
Top 4 Picks: Cold Weather Protection Gear
- Heat Packs
- Cold Grip Gloves
- Bomber Jacket