Preparing for the arctic blast of winter weather


Reporter: Mychaela Bruner
Photographer: Michael Bradford

PADUCAH, Ky—Arctic blast.  Record-setting, dangerously cold temperatures are a possibility with this winter storm.  This storm system is packing a powerful and cold punch and doctors are warning people to stay safe and bundle up.

Brian Valentine has been delivering mail for 20 years.  Valentine said his mail route is typically the same, but the weather - unpredictable.

"I'm familiar with some of those nasty, cold weathers. It's never pleasant, but you have to deliver the mail," said Valentine.

It is a job he knows that has to get done, even during bone chilling weather.

"Dress in layers and know your body well enough when you need to get in and warm. It doesn't take long for your fingers to get frostbit, especially if we get high winds and those sub zero wind chill factors they can damage skin tissue pretty quick," said Valentine.

Lourdes Emergency Room Doctor Andrew Pierce stays busy this time of year treating patients who may have stayed outside too long.

"People tend to shiver in an effort to make heat in the body and try to preserve heat and then ultimately it can progress to the point where the heart rate slows down, mental status actually slows down, people can actually look like they are having a stroke in severe cases and it can be deadly as a final outcome," said Pierce.

It can be avoided Dr. Pierce said if people are prepared.

"Take frequent breaks, obviously you want to wear ample clothing, you don't want to keep skin exposed, and stay hydrated," said Pierce.

Also, Dr. Pierce said it is important to stay covered up and plan ahead in the case of an emergency.  Dr. Pierce said people with heart-related problems or high-blood pressure need to know their bodies are already working overtime to produce and conserve heat.

Any work, is doubling the efforts of the body.  Again, plan ahead and have your winter emergency pack in your car ready to go with extra clothes and blankets.