NEW YORK (WWTI) — Ahead of the winter storm poised to hit the North Country Sunday evening and last through Monday afternoon, Governor Hochul’s office released a list of safety tips New Yorkers can take into consideration when preparing for the mix of wind, ice and snow.

The following tips can help New Yorkers avoid danger and injury from severely cold weather:

Frostbite

  • To avoid frostbite, stay inside during severe cold.
  • If you must go out, try to cover every part of your body: ears, nose, toes and fingers, etc. Mittens are better than gloves. Keep your skin dry and stay out of the wind when possible.
  • Drink plenty of fluids since hydration increases the blood’s volume, which helps prevent frostbite. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes – caffeine constricts blood vessels and prevents warming of extremities, alcohol reduces shivering, which helps keep you warm, and cigarette use shuts off blood flow to your hands.
  • If you suspect frostbite, until you can get indoors, don’t rub or massage cold body parts. Drink warm liquids.  Put on extra layers of clothes and blankets.  Remove rings, watches, and anything tight.
  • Once indoors, don’t walk on a frostbitten foot – you could cause more damage. Get in a warm (NOT hot) bath and wrap face and ears in a moist, warm (NOT hot) towel.
  • Don’t get near a hot stove or heater or use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or a hair dryer. You may burn yourself before feeling returns.
  • Frostbitten skin will become red and swollen and feel like it’s on fire. You may develop blisters. Don’t break the blisters. It could cause scarring.
  • If your skin turns blue or gray, is very swollen, blistered or feels hard and numb even under the surface, go to a hospital immediately.

Hypothermia

  • Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, especially in children and the elderly.
  • Watch for the following symptoms: inability to concentrate, poor coordination, slurred speech, drowsiness, exhaustion, and/or uncontrollable shivering, following by a sudden lack of shivering.
  • If a person’s body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, get emergency medical assistance immediately.
  • Remove wet clothing, wrap the victim in warm blankets, and give warm, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated liquids until help arrives.