Emergency preparedness information for a natural disaster that can occur, such as a winter storm, tornado, flood or earthquake can be obtained by contacting the health department.
Avoid Spot Treat: Frostbite & Hypothermia
In cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced, which can lead to serious health problems.
When the weather is extremely cold, try to stay indoors. If you must go outside, dress properly and know who is at high risk for hypothermia or frostbite.
When going outside be sure to wear:
- a scarf or knit
- mask that covers
- face & mouth
- mittens or gloves
- water-resistant boots
- a hat
- a water-resistant coat
- several layers of loose-fitting clothing
When going outside in winter make sure body parts most often affected by frostbite are covered in warm, dry clothing.
Know who is at high risk:
- Older adults without proper food, clothing, or heating
- People who stay outdoors for long periods (homeless, hikers, hunters, etc.)
- People who drink alcohol in excess or use illicit drugs
- Babies sleeping in cold rooms
A victim is often unaware of frostbite because frozen tissue is numb.
- Signs & Symptoms
- Redness or pain in any skin area may be the first sign of frostbite.
- Other signs include:
- a white or grayish-yellow skin area
- skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
Hypothermia often occurs at very cold temperatures, but can occur at cool temperatures (above 40°F), if a person is wet (from rain, sweat or cold water) and becomes chilled.
- Signs & Symptoms
- fumbling hands
- memory loss
- slurred speech
- bright red, cold skin
- very low energy
If a person’s temperature is below 95° get medical attention immediately.
If a person is experiencing hypothermia or frostbite…
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible
- Get them into a warm room or shelter
- Remove any wet clothing
- Warm them under dry layers of blankets and clothing
- Place areas affected by frostbite in warm-to-touch water
Since skin may be numb, victims of frostbite can harm themselves further.
Use caution when treating frostbite and:
- Unless necessary, do not walk on feet or toes with frostbite
- Do not use a fireplace, heat lamp, radiator, or stove for warming
- Do not use a heating pad or electric blanket for warming
- Do not rub or massage areas with frostbite
Missouri Department of Public Safety SEMA (State Emergency Management Agency) offers information regarding preparedness in an emergency. Please copy and paste the link provided below in your browser to be directed to SEMA website for important information.
Current information on Bio-Terrorism may be obtained by contacting the following number and websites.
- CDC- emergencies number 770-488-8802
- CDC- emergency chemical and biological hotline 770-311-8802
- CDC- Public Inquires Numbers 404-639-3534 or 800-311-3435
- CDC- Bioterrorism website https://emergency.cdc.gov/bioterrorism/index.asp
- Missouri Ready In 3