Preparing For the Unknown During Cold Weather

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LANSING (WILX)-- Extra protection is a good thing to have at your fingertips when you can't feel your fingertips. Especially for people who are primarily working outside in the cold. Those folks are able to prepare for being in the cold, but are you ready for the unknown that leaves you stuck in the cold for a while, a car breakdown, or getting locked out of the house?

Tuesday was so cold that a semi froze up on the highway, a situation that could have been disastrous if the driver wasn't prepared.

"I just got a little water in the airline. It' doesn't take much for the airline to freeze up," said Semi Driver, Randy Paull.

This wasn't Paull's first time to break down in the winter. He knows that everyone should always have extra warm clothes in their vehicle in case of an emergency.

"I got a real thick coat., layers underneath and if my engine dies I got a blanket to wrap up in until help comes," said Paull.

Michigan State Police say Paull is far from alone in this. They've seen a big increase in vehicles breaking down in these sub-freezing temperatures, and they say that's why they are taking extra precautions.

"It is an immediate welfare situation that were concerned about. We have troopers out on the road on a more regular basis checking. It doesn't take long to be impacted by the elements outside," said Lt. Kyle Bowman with the Michigan State Police.

Mechanic Carl Thayer has seen an spike in business from people who's car has broken down on the road.

"Last couple days have been real busy with the real cold weather," said Thayer.

Busy means he too has to be outside more than usual.

"I kinda like it, but I dress appropriate. Not just pants and a coat, I am dressed fairly warm for it. Plus I get in the truck every 10-15 minutes and thaw out a little bit," said Thayer.

Working outside obviously is rough on the body, exposed skin can easily get frostbite, and lips become chapped and can start bleeding.

Dr. Timothy Hodge from Sparrow Hospital says everyone should be remembering to cover up your toes, ears, fingers and nose as those area get the coldest quick. If you can, you should not be outside for more than 15 minutes at a time, otherwise your body can easily dip below 95 degrees and that's considered hypothermia.

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