Although it's always chilly in Philly in the winter, the Polar Vortex brings with it even more winter risks.
The Polar Vortex -- a large mass of frigid air usually found over the north pole in the winter has brought single digit temperatures and wind chills of -10 to -15 degrees to Philadelphia, reports Philadelphia's KYW-TV.
Weather this cold is dangerous and can bring serious risks. Here are three Polar Vortex risks to avoid.
1. Be prepared when driving. While the best practice would be to stay home and off the roads, sometimes driving in the Polar Vortex freeze is a risk you can't avoid. With icy roads, poorly maintained roads, and low visibility through snowstorms, car accidents are bound to occur. It's best to drive slower and leave maximum space between your car and the car in front of you. Even a tiny bit of black ice can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
2. Protect yourself from hypothermia and frostbite. Staying inside and close to the heater is probably all you want to do right now, but venturing outside is inevitable. Exposure to below freezing Polar Vortex temperatures can cause hypothermia and frostbite. One way to prevent hypothermia and frostbite is to wear lots of layers and cover your head. Since most heat is lost through your head, wearing scarves, hats, hoods, and ear muffs can prevent the heat loss, according to Medical Daily. Shoveling snow or clearing off your car may cause some of your clothes to get wet. If it does, change into dry clothing immediately.
3. Prevent pipes from bursting: Frozen pipes are susceptible to bursting and creating a mess in your home or office. To prevent pipes from freezing and bursting, set your thermostat to at least 65 degrees. Since pipes are inside the walls, the temperature inside the house must be high enough to prevent the inside walls from freezing. You should also check your yard to ensure all hoses are disconnected from outdoor spigots -- but be sure to bundle up when you go out there to avoid hypothermia and frostbite.
While you may get some snow days during a Polar Vortex, you should be cautious and stay safe to avoid dangerous winter risks.
- 'Waterfall in my living room': 'Polar vortex' wreaks havoc on pipes across the country (Twitchy)
- Ice Storm Car Accidents: Prepare for the Worst (FindLaw's Injured)
- Icy Roads: At Fault Even When Driving Speed Limit? (FindLaw's Injured)
- 7 Winter Driving Tips to Keep You Safe (FindLaw's Injured)