windy winter roadWith Winter Storm Jonas now behind us, we can finally look ahead and prepare ourselves for the next storm. Thankfully, odds are that the next won’t pale in comparison to Jonas, but it’s not a bad idea to start getting ready for the worst, regardless.

In this day in age, it’s easy for us to discount the severity of these storms. However, 46 people died as a result of last weekend’s blizzard. Most of these fatalities were a result of either roofs collapsing, car accidents or people slipping on ice. Each year winter storms also claim the lives of people who have suffered from either hypothermia or severe dehydration. Here are some steps you can take to help get you down the long road ahead.

Stay Hydrated at All Times

  • The cold winter air is also incredibly dry. In addition to dry skin, this also causes dehydration. Bring water to carry with you if you do any outdoor winter activity, including skiing and snow shoveling.
  • Pace yourself while you’re working outside. As a natural reaction to the cold weather, your body uses energy to try and keep warm. Keep in mind that if you’re shoveling, your body’s already working hard to keep warm so don’t go too wild.

Dress Warmly to Avoid Getting Hypothermia

  • Wear mittens, scarves, boots, winter coats, hats and warm jackets at all times while you’re outside. Hypothermia is a condition that people develop when their body temperature drops below 95°. This slows down the flow of blood, which will cause the body to shut down once the vital organs begin receiving insufficient amounts of blood.
  • Wear undergarments, preferably not made out of cotton. Fabrics such as wool, polypropylene layers and silk make far better materials for long underwear than cotton, since they trap heat better and are more effective against the wind.
  • Look up the windchill in addition to the temperature. If it’s 0° outside with 10 mph winds, the wind chill, which describes how cold it feels, is -16°.

Beware of Black Ice

  • Black ice tends to be around places with water sources. The canals running down streets beside the curb are frequently covered in black ice.
  • Stick to walking on sidewalks that have been salted. If the sidewalk has a bit of a white flush to it, that means that chemicals have been administered there to prevent ice build-up.
  • Be cautious of newer driveways, which are generally darker in color, which makes it harder to spot black ice.

If you need treatment or diagnosis for a winter-related injury or illness, visit us anytime at AFC Urgent Care Bronx for walk-in service. If you are an employer and are curious of our occupational health services, specifically regarding workplace injuries, visit our occupational health page. To speak with one of our certified representatives, call us at 718.925.4400.

We look forward to helping you get through the remaining of this winter!