Columbus, Ga (WRBL) – A once in a generation type of winter storm is sweeping across the country. North Dakota saw between 15 and 30 inches of snow fall. Here in the Chattahoochee Valley, we may not see snow but dangerously cold temperatures are on the way to our area. One of the most dangerous factors of this front the wind chill factor.

“So basically the wind chill is what it feels like on exposed skin. It’s the temperature combined with the wind. The lower the temperature combined with the wind. The lower the temperature, the stronger the wind, the lower that wind chill is going to be and the greater the chance you’re going to develop hypothermia or frostbite and the quicker that’s going to happen. And at times it can take up to about 15 to 30 minutes for frostbite to and even hypothermia to form,” said News 3 meterologist Nicole Phillips.

Columbus Fire Deputy Chief and Fire Marshal John Shull explains some of the warning signs to look for if you’re at risk for hypothermia and frostbite.

“Mainly uncontrollable shaking, and that sort of thing. Prolonged exposure to cold weather and in an environment where you’re wet as well. So you need to consider all of these things,” said Chief Shull.
If you’re in a position where you could be in danger of either condition here are some first aid tips.

“The first thing that you need to do is to remove yourself from that environment if you can. Try to get away from high winds if that’s the case. If you’re wet change your clothes. Dry yourself off,” said Shull.

However if you have to go outside during these frigid temperatures Nicole Phillips has some very important tips for you.

“Dress in layers maybe have a sweater and a thicker coat. Have a hat on, gloves and socks. Sometimes you know in colder climates you have to have multiple pairs of socks. Make sure you cover any exposed skin,” said Phillips.