Dangerous cold this week: How to protect yourself

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As the freezing temperatures persist, prepare yourself to stay safe in the harsh elements.

Emergency service workers are warning people to protect themselves if they plan to be outside for an extended period of time this week.

Temperatures are expected to dip into the teens overnight.

"If you know you're going to be out and about in the cold weather for a long time, the things that we all know we just have to make sure we do them, like dressing in layers, making sure we have hats, gloves, scarves," said Jeff Hammerstein with Wake County EMS. "We lose a lot of heat through our heads, so it's an important thing to remember to keep your head covered."

SEE MORE: National Weather Service Windchill Chart

Small children and the elderly are most at risk. Exposure to the cold for too long can be deadly.

"If we've got neighbors, we've got loved ones that may not have adequate heat through this cold spell, make sure that we touch base with them and make sure they have what they need to stay safe," Hammerstein said.

According to the National Weather Service, frostbite can set in in as little as 30 minutes with conditions this week.

READ MORE: Snow coming to the Triangle?

Staying outside for too long can also cause hypothermia.

"If someone changes the way they're interacting, if they feel confused or disoriented, maybe having a difficult time speaking, it may start to indicate that they're getting hypothermic," Hammerstein said.

Related Topics:
weathercoldsevere weatherwinter weatherwinterRaleighDurhamChapel Hill
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