County officials offer tips for facing harsh weather

FREEHOLD, NJ – With steady temperatures below freezing, Monmouth County officials remind residents to take precautions when going outdoors in the extreme cold.

“When the weather is extremely cold, try to stay indoors as much as possible,” said Freeholder Serena DiMaso, liaison to the County’s Office of Emergency Management. “If you have to go outside, try to make it as brief as possible and dress warmly.”

 

When going outside in the extreme cold, adults and children should always wear:

  • a hat
  • a scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth
  • sleeves that are snug at the wrist
  • mittens (they are warmer than gloves)
  • water-resistant coat and boots
  • several layers of loose-fitting clothing

“Always dress in layers, making sure that the outer layer of your clothing is tightly woven, preferably wind resistant, to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind,” said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry. “Be mindful to remove layers if you feel too warm as excess perspiration will increase heat loss, which can result in hypothermia.”

Hypothermia is a serious condition that can be caused by cold temperatures. Hypothermia is abnormally low body temperature that occurs when the body is exposed to cold temperatures and loses heat faster than it can produce it. Once the body uses us its stored energy, hypothermia will affect the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well.

“Listen to your body and don’t ignore shivering,” said DiMaso. “Shivering is a sign that your body is losing heat and persistent shivering is a sign that you need to go indoors. Your body is working hard to stay warm, so do not overdo it.”

Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold. Even those without a heart condition should dress warmly and work slowly.

For more information on preparing for cold weather, the County has compiled a Winter Emergency Preparation Guide that is available on the Emergency Management section of the County website at www.visitmonmouth.com.