Bitter cold continues, so take care

Much of the nation — including all of the Buckeye State and our local region -is in the midst of a deep freeze, and there is no relief in sight for several days.

That means that we all need to take extra precautions to guard against the dangerous cold. We also need to watch out for one another.

With temperatures in the single digits and wind chills dipping below zero night after night, it is risky to spend any time at all outdoors. Exposed skin can suffer frostbite in just 30 minutes, hypothermia is possible, and widespread snow and ice present slipping hazards nearly everywhere we turn.

Please remember to dress appropriately for this frigid weather.

Wear a hat and gloves when going outside to work or play, even if it may not seem especially fashionable, and remember to dress in layers. Several layers of lighter clothing can be more effective at repelling the cold than a single heavy coat.

Be sure to protect your extremities, such as your feet and hands, as they can be quickly injured by the cold. Warm socks and boots that keep dampness away from your feet can be very beneficial at this time of year.

It is also important to be sure your vehicle is in good working order if you plan to travel during these sub-freezing conditions. And take steps to ensure your home will remain safe and warm as well.

Once you have made yourself cozy, take a moment to think about others who might not be. Do you know of an area where a homeless person seems to be living? Do you have elderly neighbors who may not be able to get out of the house for groceries, or who may have run out of heating fuel?

A simple phone call or brief visit could save a life during such dangerous cold. And if you don’t have the resources to help someone who may be in need, contact an agency that does so that everyone in our region can remain as safe as possible.