With temperatures expected to be super cold right up until Christmas, here are some tips to keep you safe when outdoors and travelling. 

It's always good to keep up with the weather forecast, so if you do have to head out and about, you will be prepared and know what to expect. Always have a plan, such as a plan for the kids with school being out today.

Make sure to dress in layers and stay warm. With temperatures ranging from -30 to -40, you could get frostbite in minutes if you are not properly dressed. Always be aware and look for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

Some signs of hypothermia include:

  • Being cold over a prolonged period can cause a drop in body temperature
  • Shivering, confusion and loss of muscular control.
  • It can progress to a life-threatening condition where shivering stops or the person loses consciousness. Cardiac arrest may occur.

Some signs of frostbite include:

  • A more severe condition, where both the skin and the underlying tissue are frozen.
  • Skin appears white and waxy and is hard to the touch.
  • No sensation - the area is numb or tingling.

If any of these are to occur, get medical help immediately, as both could lead to very severe conditions.

Another tip is to try and stay as dry as possible because wet clothing will cool your body very quickly.

When it comes to winter driving, be aware of your surroundings and the conditions of the road, fog, black ice, slush or snow-covered roads can make driving dangerous. Drive slowly and leave plenty of distance between vehicles. 

Make sure the gas tank is topped up, in case something goes wrong and you end up in the ditch, you want to make sure you have enough gas to keep the vehicle running until somebody can pull you out.

Make sure to clear all the snow off your vehicle so it does not prohibit your vision.

Having an emergency car kit is always a good idea just in case, it can include things like food, water, blankets, extra clothes, a first aid kit, candles, flashlights, roadmaps, a shovel, a tow rope, jumper cables, and even a fire extinguisher.

As of Tuesday morning, AMA Roadside Assistance requests for full service are at seven times the normal volume, while requests for light service are more than four times normal. AMA expects these numbers will continue to remain high the longer the extreme cold weather sticks around.

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