The Midwest is freezing right now, and it’s likely about to get even worse. Temperatures throughout the region are predicted to feel like minus 50 this week thanks to a polar vortex the National Weather Service has called “one of the coldest arctic air mass intrusions in recent memory.” The Upper Midwest through the Ohio Valley will see a lot of record lows and potentially life-threatening wind chills, according to the NWS. So yeah, a huge portion of the country is facing some serious conditions—Chicagoans have declared it #Chiberia 2.0 and Minnesota has hit negative 53 degrees with the windchill. If you’re not committing to holing up for the rest of the week just reading that, here’s what you should know to stay safe.
Being outside in extreme temps, even for minutes, can cause frostbite. Your skin, and sometimes underlying tissue, literally freeze, which in some cases leads to permanent damage, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The AAD advises bundling up and staying hydrated, and if you start experiencing frostbite symptoms—redness, stinging, or throbbing followed by numbness—head indoors. And if your skin turns gray, go straight to the ER.
Read the full article on Shape.