Cold weather tips
Polar vortex slams parts of North America
With record cold temperatures striking North America last week — and with winter far from over — it’s important
to know how to operate safely in such harsh conditions.
Know the symptoms. Frostnip is fairly common and occurs after the top layer of skin becomes so cold that it freezes.
Like most cold-related illnesses, simply wearing the right clothing will prevent this. If you think you have frostnip, do not
rub the affected area, since ice crystals may damage the skin. Rather, practice gentle rewarming, such as using
your own body heat to thaw the area.
Both frostbite (where a body part becomes so cold that it loses blood flow) and hypothermia (when the body’s core
temperature drops) are two conditions where medical attention is needed immediately. Do not attempt to treat onsite.
Rather, remove any wet or restrictive clothing and transport the person to a medical facility. If you think a person may
have hypothermia, wrap him or her in a blanket. For frostbite, do not attempt to rewarm the affected area.
Take precautions. Wear mittens instead of gloves, drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids, eat high-energy foods
(like nuts and raisins), and if you’re traveling in a remote area be sure to carry emergency supplies.
Have a plan in case of breakdown. All managers are asked to conduct “well-being” checks with team members
throughout the day. For those on the road, if your truck or car stops running, try to find a place where you can stay
warm. Give your location to your manager and then check-in periodically to let your teammates know that you’re okay.