Extreme Cold

Stay Protected from Extreme Cold

Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops. Warning signs are: uncontrollable shivering, loss of memory, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If a person's body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, seek help immediately!


Frostbite occurs when body tissue freezes, damaging the tissue. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately!

If Unable to Get Medical Help

  • Do not give the person alcohol, drugs, coffee or any hot beverage or food; warm soup is best
  • Get the person into dry clothing and wrapped in a warm blanket, covering the head and neck
  • Warm the body core first, do not warm extremities first as this drives the cold blood toward the heart and can lead to heart failure
  • Warm the person slowly

Preventing Hypothermia & Frostbite

  • Avoid overexertion, the strain from the cold and hard labor may lead to a heart attack and sweating can lead to a chill and hypothermia
  • If you must go out, dress appropriately; wear loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing in several layers
  • Stay inside during extreme cold spells or heavy snowstorms

Clothing Tips

  • Cover your mouth (using a scarf, etc.) to protect your lungs from extreme cold
  • Mittens, snug at the wrist are better than gloves for protecting the hands
  • Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded
  • Wear a hat, over half of your body heat loss can be from your head