FARGO — People around the Fargo-Moorhead metro are already gearing up for a cold system coming through the region this week.
People who don't take proper precautions could wind up with frostbite or even hypothermia.
EMTs and Paramedics at F-M Ambulance recommend making a plan before going outside, whether going out in a group or alone.
"Make sure that you have a buddy system. Check on each other, make sure everyone is okay or you at least know where everybody's at," said Don Martin, the operations manager at F-M Ambulance.
WDAY StormTracker meteorologists are forecasting highs from single-digits below zero degrees to zero degrees as early as Wednesday, and with wind chill, it means people could get frostbite in just 30 minutes without protection.
"It just depends on outside — if the wind is blowing, if it's not blowing, stuff like that," Martin said. "But the best practice is (to) always dress warm."
For those who have to go outside for any reason this week, Martin said the biggest thing to pay attention to is skin exposure, so wearing winter gear like hats, gloves, mittens and a face mask can go a long way.
"It's just like in the summer, you have to prevent yourself from getting too much heat and having overexposure," he said. "Same thing in the wintertime, you have to allow that (limited) exposure time."
Whether walking or working outside this week, Martin had one more piece of advice to pass on to help make sure Jack Frost doesn't nip at your nose, or anywhere else.
"Just know the environment and dress for it," he said.
Martin said over the years, F-M Ambulance hasn't gotten many calls for frostbite-related injuries, but in the times they have received calls, they involved people who were exposed to the cold for too long without protective gear.