PENINSULA, Ohio — Ah, February in Ohio.
"It's cold. We can't deny that", says anyone who works outdoors for any length of time. "When you been doing this so long, your body gets used to it," and your routine changes to match. "I am layered to the hilt", as most postal workers will admit.
For those who love to play in the cold, most of them get it. The key to keeping warm and safe in frigid temperatures is simple: Dress for the weather!
"Layering up is probably the most important thing," Neve Mayer, from Buckeye Sports Center told us.
Outfitting skiers and snowboarders is their specialty, but you don't have to be a downhill racer to get the benefits of dressing properly. Those who enjoy the slopes want warmth without weight so they can move. It's something we all want, even if we're just taking our dog for a walk.
Mayer added there are many options and types of clothing, but the recipe for warmth is an easy one.
"Start with a base layer," she explained. "Then on top of that, you'll go to a mid-layer...and then you go to your actual jacket, which is your final layer."
Don't forget the socks, gloves, hats, and face coverings, covering as much exposed skin as possible. If not, you're inviting trouble.
"We work on people getting hypothermia and frostbite", Dr. Andrew Yocum, an emergency room doctor for Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital, said.
The first signs of hypothermia are feeling cold and shivering, but it can progress quickly.
"If it progresses, people stop being able to shiver," Yocum warned. "They can get confused and start acting in bizarre ways. It could even progress to the point where they are unconscious and having cardiac issues."
Then there's frostbite, where flesh and blood vessels freeze. If you lose feeling in your extremities, ears, or nose, severe cases could lead to amputation.
Anyone caught outdoors--whether working, playing or living--has to watch out when dangerously cold air comes down from the Arctic. It doesn't just affect adults, either.
"We worry a lot about children," Yocum added. "Making sure that they have all that skin and their head covered up, warm will help prevent them from going down that hypothermia and frostbite pathway."
When it gets this cold, with forecasted lows below zero, be prepared. If staying indoors is an option, do it. If not, well, layer up buttercup, and don't forget the hand warmers!