LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Overnight on Thursday, some of the coldest weather Kentucky has seen this year will drop temperatures into the single digits, and wind chills will be in the negatives. To prepare for the extreme cold, Dr. Martin Huecker from UofL Health shared a few tips to stay safe. 

What You Need To Know

  • The arctic blast is forecasted to bring subzero wind chills through Saturday

  • Both frostbite and hypothermia are large concerns

  • Look for symptoms such as numbness or pain in hands and feet

  • Dress in multiple layers to protect against the wind and cold 

Huecker said dressing appropriately for the cold is a must—meaning multiple layers of clothing to shield your body against the harsh winds. 

“The layers help a lot because if it is windy, it can’t penetrate your layers,” he said. “You have three or four shirts and a coat, then the wind is not going to get up there and cause your skin temperature to get low, which would make your whole body temperature get low.”

Huecker also encourages people to limit the time they stay outside. Over the next few days, frostbite and hypothermia will be a concern. Pay attention to the signs of these, such as numbness or pain in the hands or feet. 

If that happens, Huecker said get somewhere warm quickly. But if there is still pain, it’s a good idea to go to the ER.

“If you go outside without proper protection, even for a couple of hours or a few minutes, when it gets that cold and windy, then again you can get frostbite or hypothermia,” Huecker said. 

Parents should be mindful of their kids being outside for too long as well. 

“I can gauge if my hands are numb, if my toes are numb. That’s probably going to be worse for my child who has a smaller body, who can’t protect themselves as well, and so I think that’s a pretty good gauge,” Huecker said. “If you can spend the time outside with them, play with them anyway, and then when you start to feel those symptoms, you all need to come inside.”

This weather is extremely dangerous for Louisville’s homeless population. 

“The difference is if you fall asleep outside or get caught outside at 40 degrees you might live, if you spend a whole night at zero degrees on the street, you will probably not live, it is so much life threatening,” Dr. Huecker said. 

If you can hold off on your holiday plans until after the worst of the cold, experts say your best bet for the next couple of days is to just stay home.