During the last week we’ve seen the Texas weather change from summer, to winter, and back again. But rest assured, many cold wintry days are ahead in the coming months, especially for those lucky folks in Central Texas and the Panhandle areas. While we don’t have to endure months of Arctic-like conditions throughout winter, the weather can still turn dangerous quickly and we are constantly training our staff on cold weather safety. Hopefully passing these reminders along to you will help in a potentially dangerous/deadly situation.
When you are outdoors in cold weather, your body will lose heat faster than it can generate heat. This is why one of the most important things you can do in cold weather is wear layered clothing. Doing this will insulate you from the cold air much better than only 1 or 2 layers and will trap more of your body heat. On that note the most important things to cover up first in cold weather are your HEAD, HANDS, and FEET. Most of our body heat is lost through these areas so be sure to keep a hat and gloves available at all times.
Keeping your body and clothing DRY is critical to cold weather safety. Because of the heat-absorbing properties of water, loss of body heat is rapidly accelerated when a person is wet and can quickly lead to hypothermia and other life-threatening conditions. If you find yourself exposed in cold weather and wet, remove your wet clothing immediately and cover yourself in dry blankets and clothes until help arrives.
One very common accident in cold weather is related to heating units. We all love to stay warm by a fire or turn on a nice space heater to get cozy but know the risks! Space heaters cause many fires each year due to misuse. Be sure to take proper caution when using a space heater and keep it on a flat, hard surface at least three feet away from any flammable materials (carpet, paper, wood, curtains, etc.). And also remember to cover any open fire with a metal screen to catch any rolling logs and sparks.
Our last advice for keeping safe in cold weather is to properly nourish your body with the right foods and drinks. It’s best to eat warm, high-calorie foods such as pasta, breads, hearty soups, etc. Your body spends a large amount of energy simply keeping warm so keep your tank full and eat up! Remember, caffeine and alcohol are the WORST things to drink and will significantly hinder your body’s ability to keep warm. NEVER drink those when you plan to be exposed to cold weather for any period of time. Best is to drink warm sugar water, sports drinks, juices.
Thank you for taking the time to read this months’ article. We care for you like we care for our Blakely family and don’t want anyone harmed by situations that can be avoided. While we cannot control Mother Nature we can be smart and plan ahead for those frigid winter days. Please share this article with your friends and family and we wish you a fantastic fall!