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Cold weather precautions

Extreme cold

Minnesota winters can be brutally cold, but with these helpful tips, you can stay safe this winter:

  • Stay indoors when the weather is extremely cold (especially if there are high winds)
  • Check on elderly friends and neighbors frequently to ensure their homes are adequately heated.
  • Dress warm and stay dry. If outside, adults and children should wear the following:
    • Hat
    • 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
  • Avoid furnace failure. Make sure the furnace is tuned up and working appropriately before the cold winter months. If a furnace failure should occur, seek out locations to stay warm. 
  • If you find yourself stranded on the road, it is safest to stay in your car. Follow the winter weather car safety kit checklist to be prepared.
  • Ensure carbon monoxide detectors are properly installed in your home and are working.

Frostbite and hypothermia

Exposure to cold temperatures can cause serious health effects such as frostbite and hypothermia. Know the signs. If you're ever concerned about an individual, or they are showing signs of hypothermia, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Frostbite

  • White or grayish-yellow skin
  • Skin feels firm or waxy
  • Numbness

Hypothermia

  • Shivering
  • Exhaustion, drowsiness
  • Confusion, memory loss
  • Slurred speech