Bitter cold weather will move into the Dallas-Fort Worth area over the next few days, prompting MedStar to implement its cold weather response protocol.
Response priorities will be upgraded to patients in an outdoor area, unprotected from the cold once the “real feel” temperature dives below 20 degrees.
Temperatures on Monday morning are expected to be in the teens to low 20s across the area with wind gusts from the north up to 25 mph, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. Most areas won’t warm up above freezing.
The Fort Worth Independent School District said they’re also taking extra precautions against the weather. Transportation workers will report to work early to ensure the buses are ready to roll and warmed up for passengers. Custodial staff will also work early to ensure campus heating systems are on and buildings are warm.
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Schools will open before the usual time and students will be permitted to come inside early and keep warm, the school district said.
The school district has also canceled outdoor recess on Monday. All outdoor athletic events have been canceled other than middle school track, which is rescheduled for Wednesday.
Forecasters are also calling for a low chance of snow north of Fort Worth, around the Gainesville area. No accumulation is expected.
Temperatures will finally get warmer as the week goes on with Thursday being in the mid-60s and Friday highs around 75, according to the National Weather Service.
MedStar has released the following tips for staying safe on Monday:
Lower your risk of frostbite and hypothermia
▪ Wear cold weather appropriate clothing such as gloves/mittens, hats, scarves and snow boots.
▪ Dress in several layers of loose-fitting clothing, and cover your face and mouth if possible.
▪ Be aware of the wind chill factor. Wind can cause body-heat loss.
▪ Stay dry, and if you become wet, remove wet clothing immediately.
▪ Limit your time outdoors.
▪ Do not ignore shivering. It’s an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.
Signs and symptoms of hypothermia
Hypothermia symptoms for adults include:
▪ Shivering, which may stop as hypothermia progresses (shivering is actually a good sign that a person’s heat regulation systems are still active.)
▪ Slow, shallow breathing
▪ Confusion and memory loss
▪ Drowsiness or exhaustion
▪ Slurred or mumbled speech
▪ Loss of coordination, fumbling hands, stumbling steps
▪ A slow, weak pulse