winter roadOn January 22nd, Winter Storm Jonas hit the mid-Atlantic states and continued hitting them over the next 36 hours. The storm forced both the cities of New York and Baltimore to place a travel ban, effectively shutting down the cities. Washington D.C. and Philadelphia would also experience blizzard-like conditions, as substantial snowfall would hit both cities.

After all was said and done, at least 46 people had died as a result of the storm. Most of these fatal injuries were the result of car accidents, roofs collapsing and people slipping on ice. While we likely won’t experience a storm of this magnitude again this season, there are more snowstorms on the way. This guide should help you minimize the risks associated with winter, and better prepare yourself for the next big storm.

How to Avoid Getting Hypothermia

  • Dressing warmly is key. Wearing mittens instead of gloves (which aren’t as warm) could be the difference in not getting frostbite or even hypothermia.
  • Wear water-resistant clothing. People can suffer from hypothermia in just 45° weather if they’re soaking wet. Make sure your winter boots are waterproof and slip-resistant, so you won’t fall on ice.
  • Wear undergarments that are not made out of cotton. Materials like polypropylene layers, wool and silk make great long underwear fabrics.
  • When preparing your outfit, don’t just look at the temperature outside, look at the wind chill, too. 0° equates to -16° if there’s a 10 mph wind.

How to Prevent Getting Dehydrated

  • The cold winter air is extremely dry. You may not know it, but you could be dehydrated without even knowing it during the winter.
  • Make sure to have water on you when you’re shoveling.
  • When you’re cold, your body’s doing everything in its power to stay warm, which requires energy. Therefore, it’s important to pace yourself while you’re doing any outdoor activity during the winter.

Evaluate Your Surroundings to Make Sure You’re Safe

  • Black ice is extremely difficult to see because it’s an incredibly thin layer of frozen water, which explains why it’s so smooth and chameleon-like in its ability to blend in.
  • Be careful while walking on newer pavements. Because newer sidewalks/driveways have a darker tinge to them, black ice is harder to see.
  • Safe sidewalks generally have an ivory-colored wash to them, which is the result of the anti-freeze chemicals that the city puts down.
  • To determine if a particular walking route is dangerous, look for a water source. If a sewer drain is close, or if there’s a nearby faucet or gutter that could be dripping, there could be black ice.

If you have injured yourself this winter, we here at AFC Urgent Care Hartsdale can diagnose and treat a range of non-life-threatening injuries. If an employee of yours has suffered a workplace injury as a result of the winter conditions, visit our occupational health page or call us at 914.448.2273.

We look forward to helping you get through winter!