DuBois, PA – Last night was a record-breaking cold temperature, dropping well into the negative numbers and feeling more like -30 with the windchill.

Most schools have decided to close again today to keep students safe and out of the extremely cold air.

ABC’s Ryan Burrow tested out the cold temperatures for himself in Chicago, which is getting the worst of the Polar Vortex right now.

Things will eventually warm up for the weekend, but you’ll still have to be careful today.

If you have a fuel tank at your home, make sure it’s at least halfway full so you’re not at risk of running out or at risk of the fuel gelling up.

If you’re headed somewhere in the car, check that your cell phone is fully charged and take an extra set of clothing, especially dry socks and gloves.

Because your water lines could still freeze up today, store at least a few gallons of drinkable water at your home and let your faucets drip.

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Weather forecast according to Accuweather, brought to you by Advantaclean (updated as of Thursday morning):

Thursday, Jan. 31 –

  • High of 6, mostly sunny; brisk and bitterly cold; extreme cold can be dangerous in the morning
  • Low of -4, increasing clouds, frigid; a little snow late; extreme cold can be dangerous for outdoor activities

Friday, Feb. 1 –

  • High of 19, cloudy, a bit of snow, accumulating a coating to an inch; cold
  • Low of 12, clouds breaking

Saturday, Feb. 2

  • High of 37, periods of clouds and sunshine; not as cold
  • Low of 33, low clouds

Sunday, Feb. 3

  • High of 45, intervals of clouds and sunshine; milder
  • Low of 35, partly cloudy

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With dangerously cold weather on the way, we have some timely warnings about the health dangers associated with plummeting temperatures.

Click Here for the updated Operation Snow Watch page, brought to you by Greg Cranmer of State Farm Insurance.

Limit the time you’re outdoors when it’s cold, especially if it’s wet or windy. Pay attention to weather forecasts and wind chills. Exposed skin can develop frostbite in just minutes.

Dress in multiple layers of loose, warm clothing. The air that gets trapped between the layers acts as a form of insulation. For added protection, wear windproof and waterproof outer layers. Wear undergarments that wick moisture away from the skin. Always change out of any wet clothing as soon as possible.

Cover your head. Wear a hat, headband, or earmuffs. Woolen or windproof headwear is best.

Wear mittens over your gloves. Because mittens keep your fingers together, they keep your fingers warmer. Double up on a thin pair of glove liners or light gloves underneath mittens.

Wear good socks. Consider also wearing sock liners to provide an extra layer of protection against the cold. You can also use hand and foot warmers. Make sure the extra socks or the foot warms don’t make your boots too tight, which can restrict blood flow.

Watch for signs of frostbite. Early signs of frostbite include pale or red skin, prickling, or numbness. Go inside if you notice any signs.

Plan ahead and protect yourself. If you know you’ll be outside or traveling in cold weather, make sure you have emergency supplies and warm clothing in case you become stranded. If you’ll be going somewhere without cell phone service or are going to a new area, alert others of your route and when you expect to return.

Don’t drink alcohol if you plan on being outdoors in cold temperatures. Although it might make you feel warm, alcohol actually causes your body to lose heat faster.

Stay hydrated and eat well-balanced, healthy meals. Doing this before you go out into the cold will help you stay warm longer, but it won’t protect you entirely.

Keep moving. Exercising can get your blood pumping faster and help you to stay warm, but don’t continue to exercise to the point of exhaustion.

Doctor Jeff Brakora of University Health Methodist Hospital.

Avoiding a fall:

  • Walk slowly and deliberately.
  • Wear boots or other slip-resistant footwear.
  • Be especially careful on stairs, steps, and getting in and out of vehicles.
  • Avoid carrying items. Keep your hands empty so arms are free to move for stabilization. Use a backpack if possible.
  • If you slip, do not break your fall with your hands. You could end up injuring your hands, fingers, or wrists. Instead, try to fall so your trunk or torso takes most of the impact.
  • If you fall on your back, do your best to protect your head from hitting the ground.
  • Carry a phone with you so you can call 911 or a friend or neighbor to help you if you fall and can’t get back up.

 

Signs of frostbite:

  • At first, cold skin and a prickling feeling
  • Numbnmess
  • Red, white, bluish-white or grayish-yellow skin
  • Hard or waxy skin
  • Joint and muscle stiffness
  • Clumsiness
  • Blistering after rewarming (symptom of a severe case of frostbite)
  • Frostbite starts as frostnip, which generally doesn’t leave any lasting damage but can progress quickly. Skin will feel painful as it warms up.

Signs of hypothermia:

  • Shivering (one of the first signs)
  • Slurred speech or mumbling
  • Shallow or slow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Lack of coordination or clumsiness
  • Very low energy or drowsiness
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Bright red, cold skin (especially in infants)
  • Signs begin gradually… confused thinking will make it difficult for people with hypothermia to recognize the signs in themselves