Prepare for winter weather before the next round rolls in

Winter weather blast

It seems like we are going to avoid a winter blast this time, but after the Thanksgiving week blast of snow and cold many people are working to prepare for the next round of winter weather.

"Weather can change very rapidly," News 5 WCYB Chief Meteorologist Dave Dierks explains. "Just a change in temperature by a couple of degrees can make things go from bad to dangerous."

You need more than just bread and milk to weather a winter storm. Warm clothes, a spare light and heat source, and water are must-haves.

But surviving the storm can have its own dangers. Your Coleman camping stove may be great in the summer, but can be a silent killer in the winter according to Sullivan County EMA Director Jim Bean. "We encourage everyone to not use a generator, a grill or a camp stove inside their home, their garage or basement where it's closed in," Bean told us.

Bean says purchasing and and installing a carbon monoxide alarm can save lives indoors.

Sullivan County Regional Medical Director Dr. Stephen May says outside, frostbite and hypothermia are your enemy. "That can happen very quickly, but it has to be pretty cold for that to happen," he said. "You have to have exposed surfaces. Once it becomes numb you may not be aware of frostbite occurring."

Frostbite you can feel coming, but hypothermia can sneak up on you. "It can be very insidious, and as a result you don't realize you've dropped your core body temperature to the point that you can no longer respond or self-extricate," Dr. May explained.

Dr. May says keep an eye out for markers of hypothermia like confusion, slurred speech, loss of coordination, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness.

Dr. may also told us that if you think you or someone you know may be suffering from frostbite or hypothermia to seek medical attention immediately.

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