KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — With the bitter and unprecedented cold expected throughout East Tennessee heading into the weekend, you may experience some unique problems.
“Here we aren’t really used to temperatures like this very often,” KFD Paramedic David Frazier said. “People are often underdressed and that could create a problem if they get stuck out.”
East Tennessee has not seen this type of cold weather in a long time which is why the possibility of hypothermia is there. However, there are ways to keep yourself and others safe in the event that you do get stuck outside.
“Keep a coat in your car, keep some other stuff and layer up if you need to,” Frazier said. “If you are traveling with children make sure they are adequately dressed and you have some extra clothes for them because children are more susceptible to hypothermia than adults are.”
Areas like the Northern Plains have already seen wind chill temperatures between 60 and 70 below zero. We won’t quite get to that level, but it will still be historically cold.
According to our Six On Your Side Storm Team, it could “feel like” 13 below zero in Knoxville during the early morning hours of Friday. The bitter cold won’t go away, and with this blast of arctic air it is especially important to be aware of the signs of hypothermia.
“Lethargy, confusion, obviously cold extremities, numbness and tingling in your hands,” Frazier said. “If you start to feel those types of things, it’s time to get inside, find some shelter, and get warm.”
Our storm team and other officials urge people to stay inside as much as possible Friday to make sure that everyone stays safe and warm during these next cold couple of days.
If you are driving anywhere be sure to have a go-bag of things that you would need in the event that you break down or get stuck. Items like blankets, extra jackets and other clothes, snacks and water.