Remaining safe in dangerously low temperatures - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Remaining safe in dangerously low temperatures

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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. -- A second day of brutal and bitter cold in the Capital Region and it seems like this biting cold is settling in.

No matter how much residents bundle up, many still feel a bone-rattling chill, but it's the wind that can be a real danger.

NEWS10 Meteorologist Mike Bennett shows us what viewers need to know to keep themselves safe when the mercury is down.

As the thermometer reading dropped well below zero this morning, and a bit of a breeze caused dangerous wind chill values, local shelters opened up to the homeless and most people that could tried to avoid as much outdoor time as possible.

Just how cold was it?

Cold enough for a wet t-shirt to freeze in just two minutes.

And with this cold weather, it's certainly dangerous for anyone spending too much time outdoors.

"When the temperatures in the single digits, they drop below zero with 20 mph winds, wind chills are -10, -20, we get a lot more concerned with exposed flesh especially around the face, the nose, etc.," said Dr. Clifford Erickson of Albany Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Erickson, Director of the Emergency Department at Albany Memorial, says the biggest concern with this cold weather is frost bite.

"Frost bite is when the actual tissue freezes and the ice crystals that form in the cells can actually damage the cells. Over the course of time, you're going to notice it gets cold, it gets pale, its firm, it may actually stop hurting at that point," said Dr. Erickson.

How quickly can frost bite set in? Well, it's all dependent on the wind chill, which combines the wind speed and temperatures. But, frost bite can occur within minutes. So what should you do if you notice any of the symptoms?

"Get out of the cold. Go inside, start to warm up, and let the body naturally heat and rewarm the tissue. What you don't want to do is run your hands under really warm water," said Dr. Erickson.

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