Now is the time to prepare for severe winter weather before the temperature extremely drops, according to the 597th Transportation Brigade Safety Officer Rupert Rose.
"When exposed to cold temperatures your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced," Rose said.
It is very important to remember to take caution during extremely cold temperatures and severe winter weather to prevent injuries and illness, such as hypothermia and frostbite, according to the Virginia Department of Public Health.
What should you look out for? Redness or pain in any skin area may be due to frostbite, Rose said.
Hypothermia occurs most commonly at very cold environmental temperatures but can occur even at cool temperatures above 40°F if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.
During extreme cold or severe winter weather, take these precautions to lower your risk of illness:
* Wear cold weather appropriate clothing like gloves, hats, scarves, and snow boots.
* Be aware of the wind chill factor.
* Remove any wet clothing immediately.
* Limit your time outdoors.
Seek medical care if you suspect that you may be suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, as these are serious medical conditions.
Be mindful of the amount of time spent outdoors shoveling snow and removing debris after snowstorms. Dress warmly and work slowly to avoid exertion and to prevent back injury. Other steps to take to help prevent muscle and bone injury include:
* Use teams of two or more to move bulky objects.
* Avoid lifting any material that weighs more than 50 pounds.
* Use proper automated-assist lifting devices.
* Use caution or seek professional assistance when removing fallen trees, cleaning up debris or using equipment, such as chain saws.
* Wear eye goggles while removing or cleaning up debris to prevent eye injuries.