Climate change in Nepal seems more palpable at present than at any point of time. Over 50 people have died so far due to temperatures falling below 0°C. Weather forecasts show the mercury will continue to dip down for the next 15 days and hence speculations of more deaths in the coming days.
Here are some safety tips against cold wave.
What to do during a cold wave?
- Stay indoors as much as possible
- Eat to supply heat to the body and drink non-alcoholic beverages to avoid dehydration
Dress properly if you must go outside
- Wear several layers of , lightweight; warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water-repellent;
- Mittens are warmer than gloves;
- Cover your head as most body heat is lost through the top of the head
- Cover your mouth to protect your lungs
More Do’s and don’ts
- Avoid over work. Over exertion can bring on a heart attack, a major cause of death in the winter.
- Watch for signs of frostbite; loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes and the tip of the nose.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia (subnormal body temperature); uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.
(If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the individual to a warm location and remove any wet clothing. If conscious, warm the centre of the body first by giving warm, non-alcoholic beverages. Seek medical help as soon as possible.)
Transportation options during cold wave
- Consider public transportation if you must travel. If you travel by car, travel in the day, don’t travel alone, and keep others informed of your schedule. Stay on main roads; avoid back-road shortcut
- Winterize your car. This includes a battery check, antifreeze, wipers and windshield washer fluid, ignition system, thermostat, lights, flashing hazard lights; exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster, oil level, and tires. Consider snow tires and keep your car’s gas tank full.
- Carry a “basic vehicle emergency kit” in the trunk of your vehicle.