This winter season, the United States has experienced temperatures similar to those common in the North Country.
According to a new report by the Washington Post, it is due to Siberian air that has breezed through the North Pole and into North America.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported the temperatures along the Eastern seaboard throughout this week could be anywhere from 10 to 35 degrees below average.
These abnormal temperatures also pertain to the Plattsburgh area and affect its residents and students at Plattsburgh State. There are multiple actions these students can take in order to protect themselves and their homes from problems such as pipe-bursting and bitter temperatures.
Director of the PSUC Student Health Center Kathleen Camelo said wearing warm clothing is essential to staying healthy during the intense temperatures.
“Students should make sure they wear the proper clothing, especially covering those areas that are susceptible to frostbite, such as your face, tips of your hands and feet, because circulation can be compromised in the cold,” Camelo said.
Besides a warm coat, Camelo said she recommends heavy socks, mittens or gloves and scarves.
Fine Arts major Cory Sempler said that every time he leaves the house, he always has a hat, gloves and a scarf to bear the weather.
“Once in a while, when it’s really cold, I’ll wear my insulated underwear,” Sempler said.
Camelo also said she thinks staying well during the duration of the winter includes eating and sleeping properly and exercising regularly.
“Adults are supposed to sleep seven to eight hours a night,” Camelo said. “If students aren’t eating well, they should supplement with a multivitamin.”
In addition, Camelo advises students to get 30 minutes of vigorous cardio at least five days a week. Overall wellness will keep a student’s immune system strong to make it more difficult to fall ill when the temperatures fall below zero.
Camelo also recommends that students should avoid excessive alcohol intake.
“With (alcohol excess), we may think we are warmer than we really are. Therefore, we may not dress adequately,” she said. “Dress for the weather, not for the date.”
Camelo advises students to be responsible when drinking because it is one of the major risk factors of frostbite and hypothermia. Symptoms of hypothermia include excessive shivering, altered mental status, increased heart rate and shortness of breath. A more severe sign of hypothermia is when shivering slows to a stop.
“You need to immediately rewarm, drink warm fluids, check your temperature, and if there is a sign of confusion or an altered mental status, you should proceed to the emergency room,” Camelo said.
Those off-campus students that have to pay electric bills should do their research when considering how much they want to pay the City of Plattsburgh Department of Finance.
According to the department’s website, there are many tips to saving heat energy during those frigid months, such as sealing air leaks around windows and door frames with caulk and weather stripping.
“In January, our bill was huge,” Sempler said. “Ever since then, we put plastic on the windows and kept them covered so our cat doesn’t break through the plastic.”
The site also advises residents to close off rooms that aren’t in regular use, so the heat stays where it is needed. When leaving the house for class or work, turn the heat down. When guests visit, body heat will warm up the space, so the electric heat becomes unnecessary. Lastly, don’t block heaters and radiators to make sure the heat will circulate throughout the room.
“I’m not good with the cold,” Sempler said. “I go here because it’s warm inside.”
Email Lisa Scivolette at firstname.lastname@example.org