Many people are aware severe weather can cause many deaths across the nation and world, but did you know cold weather is a bigger killer than extreme heat?
A study published by the British Journal “The Lancet” analyzed data for more than 74 million deaths in 13 countries between 1985 and 2015. It found 5.4 million of those deaths were related to cold and only 311,000 were related to heat.
Many think cold weather deaths are related to people shoveling snow, but it actually has to do with the small increase in blood pressure due to the cold. Of course, however, cold may just be the final trigger and some deaths could have been with people who have pre-existing illnesses such as heart failure, but these are deaths that can be easily avoided.
We want to make sure you stay warm and safe when winter weather strikes so here are some tips:
Heat your home correctly:
- Make sure all heaters have space and keep kids, pets and flammable objects away from heating equipment.
- If you need a space heater to place it on a nonflammable surface and make sure to turn them off when leaving a room.
- Never leave a fire in a fireplace unattended
Be safe outdoors:
- Wear layers of clothing to help keep you and your skin warm and protected and be aware of hypothermia and frostbite.
- Be careful and don’t strain yourself when shoveling, take it slow.
- Bring pets indoors, if it is too cold for you – it’s too cold for your pets. Also, make sure they have unfrozen food and water with a warm place to stay.
- Staying off the road during severe weather is the best idea, but if you do need to drive take it slow and do not pass plows.
- Give plenty of distance between your car and the car in front of you.
- Remember bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways so take extra caution when out driving.