Deadly Weather: Staying Safe In The Cold

The frigid weather gripping most of the country can be deadly to those forced to be outside. NBC's Sarah Dallof reports.

(NBC News) — The bitter cold sweeping across much of the country is not only miserable, but possibly deadly.

Extreme cold exposure claims hundreds of lives every year.

Children, the elderly and those experiencing homelessness are especially vulnerable.

In Milwaukee, a man was recently found dead and frozen inside the car he’d been living in.

“The whole homeless services community, it hits all of us very hard when we work year-round to try to prevent something like that from happening,” says Eva Welch of Street Angels Milwaukee Outreach.

They’re now facing the daunting task of protecting people from the elements and COVID-19.

The pandemic has cut existing shelter capacities and created additional overflow spaces.

“We are not going to leave people out in the cold even if the shelters are full,” says Lauren King of Texas’ Tarrant County Homeless Coalition. “We’ll figure out something.”

Health experts say to watch yourself, and others, for symptoms of hypothermia.

Those include fumbling hands or a stumbling walk.

Fingers, toes and any exposed skin are most at risk for developing frostbite.

Your best bet is to dress for the weather, in layers with wicking fabrics as a base layer and mittens over gloves, and if you can, stay out of the cold and out of potential danger.

Read more here.