Cold weather survival guide: What you need to know when temperatures plummet in Brigantine…




When exposed to low temperatures, your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Prolonged exposure expends stored energy. Abnormally low body temperature diminishes clarity of thought and motor skills. Victims are often unaware of their danger.

Adults: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness.
Infants: Bright red, cold skin, very low energy.


Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas – most often the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes.

Take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°, the situation is an emergency. Get medical attention immediately. If medical care is not available, begin warming the person, as follows:

• Get the victim to warm shelter.
• Remove any wet clothing.
• Warm the center of the body first – chest, neck, head and groin – using an electric blanket, if available. Or use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, towels or sheets.
• Warm beverages can help increase the body temperature. Do not give alcoholic beverages.
• After body temperature has increased, keep the person dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck.
• Get medical attention as soon as possible.


Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas – most often the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation. Risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among people who are not dressed properly for extremely low temperatures.

Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite:
• A white or grayish-yellow skin area.
• Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy.
• Numbness. A victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb.

If there is frostbite but no sign of hypothermia and immediate medical care is not available:
• Get warm shelter.
• Unless absolutely necessary, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes – this increases the damage.
• Immerse the affected area in warm – not hot – water (the temperature should be comfortable to the touch for unaffected parts of the body). Or warm the affected area using body heat.
• Do not rub or massage the affected area. This can cause more damage.
• Don’t use a heating pad, stove, fireplace or radiator. Numb areas can be easily burned.
• Because frostbite and hypothermia both result from exposure, first determine whether the victim also shows signs of hypothermia, as described previously. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires emergency medical assistance.



• Dress in layers. Several thin layers are warmer than one heavy layer. The goal is to keep the body warm and minimize sweating and avoid shivering.

• Health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease can significantly decrease a person’s ability to exercise outdoors in the cold.

• Cover your head. Heat loss from the head and neck may be as much as 50 percent of the total heat being lost by your body.

• Cover your mouth. To warm the air before you breathe it, use a scarf or mask. Do this especially if breathing cold air causes angina (chest pain) or you are prone to upper respiratory problems.

• Stay dry. Wet or damp clothing, whether from perspiration or precipitation, significantly increases heat loss.

• Stay hydrated. Dehydration reduces your body’s ability to regulate body heat and increases the risk of frostbite. Avoid consuming alcohol or beverages containing caffeine, because these items are dehydrating.

• If you develop chest pain when you exercise in cold weather, and not when you exercise in warm weather, check with your doctor. You could have heart disease.SENIORS

The ability to feel temperature changes decreases with age. If you are older than 65, place an easy-to-read thermometer in an indoor location where you will see it frequently, and check the temperature of your home often during the winter months.

Cold weather can make arthritic joints feel even stiffer.
• Try taking a warm bath every evening before bed.
• Exercise indoors.
• Consult your doctor about newer, more effective medications available.

Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unaccustomed exercise can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.


Layering clothing allows children to work up a sweat without becoming overheated. The ability to remove layers allows children to maintain proper body temperature while increasing endurance and decreasing the possibility of dehydration from overheating.

• Your child’s body needs to be properly hydrated. Children may succumb to heat exhaustion in the cold. Pack bottled water or a thermos of warm fluids.
• If walking to school, children should wear appropriate shoes or boots to maintain footing.



Experts advise pet owners to bring their animals inside during frigid temperatures.

• Consider bringing outdoor pets inside, particularly young or elderly pets, small animals or animals with short hair.
• Doghouses should be positioned in a sunny, sheltered location during cold weather. Raise the house off the ground several inches and put a flap (car doormat) over the door to keep out cold drafts. Use dry straw or cedar shavings for bedding – rugs and blankets can hold moisture and freeze.

• Cats sometimes climb up under the hoods of cars to be near warm engines and are killed or injured when the car is started.
• Buy antifreeze made with propylene glycol (brands include Sierra and Prestone Lowtox) instead of ethylene glycol, which is a deadly poison even in small doses. Animals are attracted to antifreeze because of its sweet taste. Clean spills promptly.

Clean off your dog’s or cat’s legs, feet and stomach after coming in from the snow. Salt and other chemicals can make an animal sick if they are ingested while the animal grooms itself.

Increase food rations during winter (animals burn more calories to keep warm).
Provide water for outdoor animals. Consider heating water dishes.




Instruct children to stay away from heaters. If you have small children or small pets, consider placing a protective barrier around the heater. Turn off heater when you sleep or leave the room.

• Kerosene heaters are legal only in single-family and two-family homes in New Jersey. Many communities ban kerosene heaters. Check local regulations.
• Use only clear (1-K) kerosene. Never use gasoline or other substitute fuels.
Be sure the wick is at the proper height.
• Fill heaters outdoors.
• Allow heater to cool before filling. The heat could cause the fuel to ignite.
• Do not move the heater when in use.
• Do not use heater to dry clothing.

• Do not buy an electric heater unless it bears the label of an independent testing laboratory.
• Heaters should have tipover switches, which will shut off electric current if the unit is knocked over.
• Heaters should have wire grilles to keep fingers and flammable objects away from the heating element.
• Position heater away from flammable materials, such as curtains or drapes, newspapers or furniture.
• Be sure the plug fits snugly in the outlet. Loose plugs can overheat. Electric heaters draw a lot of power. Feel plugs and cords for heat. If they are hot, unplug heater.



Check insulation. Add extra insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Excessive heat loss through the attic can cause snow or ice to melt on the roof. Refreezing and buildup can result in a collapsed roof. It also can contribute to ice damming. Ideally, the attic should be five to 10 degrees warmer than the outside air.
Maintain pipes. Wrap pipes with heating tape and insulate unfinished rooms such as garages that frequently have exposed pipes.




Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that interferes with the delivery of oxygen in the blood to the rest of the body. It is produced by the incomplete burning of some fuels, such as coal, wood, charcoal, natural gas and fuel oil.

• Symptoms are sometimes mistaken for the flu or food poisoning. Fetuses, infants, the elderly and people with heart and respiratory illnesses are particularly at risk.
• Make sure appliances are working properly.
• Obtain annual inspections for heating systems, chimneys and flues.
• Open flues when fireplaces are in use.
• Use proper fuel in kerosene space heaters.
• Do not use ovens or gas ranges to heat your home.
• Do not burn charcoal indoors.
• Do not use unvented gas or kerosene space heaters in enclosed spaces.
• Never leave a car running in a garage.
• Make sure your furnace has adequate intake of outside air.



When the temperature drops below 20 degrees, pipes in homes without adequate insulation may freeze and break.

• In extremely cold weather, turn your faucets on just enough to allow slow, constant dripping. This will not necessarily prevent freezing, but it can prevent the pipe from bursting. Leaving a faucet open provides relief from excessive pressure.
Keep the house warm. Keeping your home at 65 degrees or warmer will reduce the potential for freezing pipes.
• If pipes burst, the first thing to do is turn off the main water shutoff valve. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the shutoff valve is and how to open and close it. A crack that is an eighth of an inch wide can release 250 gallons of water in one day.



• Have the radiator system serviced, or check the antifreeze level yourself.
• Replace wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
• Check the air pressure in tires. Replace worn tires.
• Keep the gas tank nearly full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

– Blankets
– First aid kit
– Waterproof matches
– Windshield scraper
– Booster cables
– Road maps
– Compass
– Tool kit
– Paper towels
– Bag of sand or cat litter
(to pour on ice or snow for added traction) – Small or collapsible shovel
– High-calorie or dried foods
– Can opener
– Flashlight and extra batteries
– Canned compressed air with sealant (for emergency tire repair)
– Brightly colored cloth

• Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions.
• Tire pressure. When outside temperature drops 10 degrees, air pressure inside your tires goes down about one or two pounds per square inch. Check your tire pressure frequently and add air to keep tires at recommended levels of inflation.
• Never reduce tire pressure in an attempt to increase traction on snow or ice. It does not work and your tires will be damaged.



• Seal up openings that let in cold air around and under doors and windows.
• Lower thermostats serving unused rooms (as long as the walls in those rooms do not contain water pipes).
• Close dampers in unused fireplaces.
• Move furniture and drapes away from heating registers, radiators and baseboard heat covers.
• Open any register or baseboard damper found in the closed position.
• Replace dirty or clogged air filters.
• For more heating tips
• If your furnace doesn’t seem to be working, following these steps may restart the furnace:

– Make sure the thermostat is set above room temperature.
– Make sure the heater’s switch is on.
– Make sure the fuses are OK and the circuit breaker is on.
– Shut off power for five minutes. When you turn the power back on, the furnace may restart.
– Note: Experts do not recommend trying to relight the pilot light.
– If your heater still doesn’t work, call your local utility or a heating contractor.

Heating emergency numbers
• Atlantic Electric 1-800-833-7476
• South Jersey Gas: 609-561-9000.
• If you have oil heat, call your local oil distributor.


Brigantine Police is here to help…

We are only a phone call away …

If  you need help  please call us..

Non -Emergency  Dial  266-7414

Emergency Dial  911

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