The 411 on Surviving the Extreme Cold

Staying safe in the polar vortex.

The Polar Vortex: Round Two - For the past month, all across the U.S. we have seen record-breaking cold temperatures with wind chills in the negative 40s and 50s. Read tips on how to stay safe in this extreme winter weather. ?Kellee Terrell  (@kelleent)(Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

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The Polar Vortex: Round Two - For the past month, all across the U.S. we have seen record-breaking cold temperatures with wind chills in the negative 40s and 50s. Read tips on how to stay safe in this extreme winter weather. —Kellee Terrell  (@kelleent)(Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

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Pay Attention to the News - Temps can change at the drop of a hat, so make sure you stay on top of the weather by watching, reading or listening to current news. This way you know if schools and roads are closed and can gauge whether or not it is safe to leave your home. Also make sure you call or email your boss at work to see if her or she is expecting you in or not. (Photo: Image Source/GettyImages)

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Get Your Grocery on Before! - Freezing temps and snow storms may keep you stuck inside, so if you know ahead of time bad weather is on its way, make sure that you stay stocked up with food and water (in case your pipes burst). Make sure to have some non-perishable food (food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated) in case your electricity goes out. (Photo: GettyImages)

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Stay Inside When Needed - Just being outside for 15 minutes can lead to frostbite and even worse, hypothermia (lowering of the body’s temperature), in really cold weather. So when they say stay in, do it! FYI: It can also be cold inside, too, so make sure all windows are closed tight and that you have enough blankets and warm clothes to wear inside. (Photo: Ariel Skelley/GettyImages)

Layer Up!

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Layer Up! - If you do leave the house, especially for those who commute via bus, train and subway and have to walk or wait outside for public transportation, please wear extra layers — shirts, leggings, extra socks, sweaters, etc. — and wear heavy duty warm shoes and a coat. And don’t forget your scarf, hat and gloves!(Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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Leave Your Faucets Dripping a Bit - During freezing weather like this, your pipes are vulnerable to freezing, so try keeping the faucets dripping a bit. If they freeze anyway, do not use a torch to defrost them, use a hairdryer instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests. (photo: Buena Vista Images/GettyImages)

Be Careful Shoveling Snow - With snowstorms hitting, it?s important to shovel it for safety, but be careful to not overexert yourself when outside ? you can have a heart attack. Remember, do not eat a big meal before shoveling snow, use a small shovel, take a break and listen to your body, Heart.org recommends. (Photo: AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Laurie Skrivan)

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Be Careful Shoveling Snow - With snowstorms hitting, it’s important to shovel it for safety, but be careful to not overexert yourself when outside — you can have a heart attack. Remember, do not eat a big meal before shoveling snow, use a small shovel, take a break and listen to your body, Heart.org recommends. (Photo: AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Laurie Skrivan)

Be Aware of Frostbite

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Be Aware of Frostbite - Frostbite is when the tissue freezes due to long exposure in extreme cold temperatures, whether unprotected or even protected. It usually causes a loss of feeling in your nose, cheeks, chin, toes, fingers and ears. It can also cause your skin to be white or gray or feel waxy. If you suspect you have frostbite, go to the hospital!  (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Don’t Drive Alone

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Don’t Drive Alone - If you have to drive in this weather, please do so with another person, in case something happens. Also, try traveling during the day, let people know where you are going and stay on main roads (not back roads). In case you get stuck somewhere, someone can pull over and help you.  (Photo: AP Photo/Lebanon Daily News, Jeremy Long) 

Buy the Right Gear - Down jackets are great for keeping you super warm for Polar Vortex 2015. Remember, when shopping for this type of coat, look for numbers such as 650 fill or 800 fill. The higher the number the more quality the coat. If you live in an area with major rain and snow, a down coat may not be the best item to rock ? it may not be water resistant. If this is the case, opt for a hard-shell jacket. And don?t forget to get the right boots ? lined and waterproof.  (Photo: 68/Ocean/Corbis)

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Buy the Right Gear - Down jackets are great for keeping you super warm for Polar Vortex 2015. Remember, when shopping for this type of coat, look for numbers such as 650 fill or 800 fill. The higher the number the more quality the coat. If you live in an area with major rain and snow, a down coat may not be the best item to rock — it may not be water resistant. If this is the case, opt for a hard-shell jacket. And don’t forget to get the right boots — lined and waterproof.  (Photo: 68/Ocean/Corbis)

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Be Aware of the Winter Blues - Extreme cold coupled with shorter, darker days and staying in can really mess with one?s mental health. And it even has an official name: seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Try to find activities that make you happy and keep you connected to others, so you won?t feel so isolated.  (Photo: JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Be Aware of the Winter Blues - Extreme cold coupled with shorter, darker days and staying in can really mess with one’s mental health. And it even has an official name: seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Try to find activities that make you happy and keep you connected to others, so you won’t feel so isolated.  (Photo: JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis)

Be Thermostat Smart - Blasting your thermostat up to stay warm may be your first reaction to cold, but be easy, that can be pretty expensive. Make sure to layer up your body in the house and look into a space heater, which can help bring your heating costs down. Also, invest in some down comforters too.  (Photo: George Frey/Getty Images)

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Be Thermostat Smart - Blasting your thermostat up to stay warm may be your first reaction to cold, but be easy, that can be pretty expensive. Make sure to layer up your body in the house and look into a space heater, which can help bring your heating costs down. Also, invest in some down comforters too.  (Photo: George Frey/Getty Images)

Boost Your Immune System! - Make sure that you wash your hands often, eat fruits and vegetables, take your vitamins and get an extra boost of vitamin C daily. (Photo: JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis)

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Boost Your Immune System! - Make sure that you wash your hands often, eat fruits and vegetables, take your vitamins and get an extra boost of vitamin C daily. (Photo: JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis)

Check Your Windows at Home - What?s the point of having heat if there is a constant draft coming from your windows? The solution: Spending a little bit of extra money to seal those windows shut with an insulation kit. This can make a huge difference in keeping your crib warm and blocking out that arctic cold. Photo: Kathleen Clemons/PPSOP/Corbis)

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Check Your Windows at Home - What’s the point of having heat if there is a constant draft coming from your windows? The solution: Spending a little bit of extra money to seal those windows shut with an insulation kit. This can make a huge difference in keeping your crib warm and blocking out that arctic cold. Photo: Kathleen Clemons/PPSOP/Corbis)

Use Those Public Transportation Apps - One way to avoid the amount of time you are outside waiting on public transportation is downloading your local transportation app. This way, you know what time your bus is coming, when you need to be outside to catch it and you are less exposed to the cold. This has been a game-changer for my commuters.   (Photo: Masterfile via Corbis)

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Use Those Public Transportation Apps - One way to avoid the amount of time you are outside waiting on public transportation is downloading your local transportation app. This way, you know what time your bus is coming, when you need to be outside to catch it and you are less exposed to the cold. This has been a game-changer for my commuters.   (Photo: Masterfile via Corbis)

Be Aware of Carbon Monoxide  - Carbon monoxide poisoning happens more often in the winter, thanks to our dependency on our heaters. Nearly two-thirds of carbon monoxide deaths happen in January and February. Make sure that you have a carbon monoxide detector ? which is not the same as a fire detector ? to protect you and your loved ones.  (Photo: George Frey/Getty Images)

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Be Aware of Carbon Monoxide  - Carbon monoxide poisoning happens more often in the winter, thanks to our dependency on our heaters. Nearly two-thirds of carbon monoxide deaths happen in January and February. Make sure that you have a carbon monoxide detector — which is not the same as a fire detector — to protect you and your loved ones.  (Photo: George Frey/Getty Images)