(LANSING) – With the frigid temperatures expected around the State over the next week, the Michigan State Police want people to be extra cautious when going outdoors.
MSP Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division Commander Captain Kevin Sweeney says the cold temperatures can cause serious injury and be potentially life-threatening. They are asking all Michigan residents to follow their local weather reports and take appropriate steps to stay safe during this cold spell.
The National Weather Service is forecasting wind chills this weekend to be at or below zero, and very cold temperatures to last into late next week. Exposure to these temperatures could potentially cause frostbite and hypothermia, as well as create hazardous driving conditions.
To stay safe during cold weather: limit your time outdoors. If you need to go outside, wear layers of clothing. Also watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Signs of frostbite include: loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers and toes; numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, or firm or waxy skin.
Signs of hypothermia include: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech or drowsiness.
Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by only using generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Never heat your home with a gas stove top or oven. Also avoid overexertion when shoveling snow.
Pets are also at risk for cold weather injuries and should be kept indoors. If travel is necessary, keep a full tank of gas and an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. Put warm clothing, such as gloves, blankets and hats and a cell phone charger in your kit.
Michigan weather is unpredictable any time of year, but especially during the winter months. If you are stranded, do not leave your vehicle. Stay with the vehicle and wait for help.