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Prairie Fare: Gear Up for Winter With a Cold-weather Quiz

To “weather” the upcoming cold temperatures of winter, take some safety precautions.

By Julie Garden Robinson, Nutrition Specialist

NDSU Extension Service

“Mom, it’s warm out today,” my 9-year-old daughter noted as we drove past a business that displayed the current temperature on its sign.

The display read 20 degrees.

A couple of months ago, 20 degrees would have felt freezing cold instead of slightly balmy to us. As I recall, I covered my geraniums with blankets to keep them alive outside in late October.

We seem to adjust our temperature perspective quickly in this area of the country.

To “weather” the upcoming cold temperatures of winter, take some safety precautions, especially when traveling or even spending time outdoors in recreational activities. Dress in several layers of loose-fitting clothing, wear a coat and insulated boots, cover your head and invest in mittens, which are warmer than gloves.

Try this cold-weather quiz based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Winter Weather Guide. The answers are at the bottom.

  1. If a person has a body temperature below ___ degrees, the situation is an emergency and you must get medical help immediately.

  2. What is the name of the condition where a person may be shivering, exhausted and confused, and have fumbling hands, memory loss, drowsiness or slurred speech because of low body temperature?

  3. Which of the following groups of people are likely to be most adversely affected by low body temperature?

    A - Elderly people with inadequate food, clothing or heating

    B - People who are outdoors a long time, including the homeless

    C - People who drink alcohol or use illicit drugs

    D - Any of the above

    E - None of the above

  4. If there is no immediate medical care available for a person with low body temperature, move the victim to a warm room or shelter, remove wet clothing and warm the victim with electric blankets or other coverings. Name three areas of the body that are critical to warm first.

  5. What is the name of the condition where you may have white or grayish-yellow skin, waxy or unusually firm skin or numbness as a side effect of exposure to cold temperatures?

  6. Which of the following should you avoid doing if you become stranded with your vehicle?

    A - Stay awake.

    B - Stay in your vehicle.

    C - Move your arms and legs to improve circulation.

    D - Wrap your body and head with clothing, blankets or newspapers.

    E - Eat snow to raise your body temperature.

  7. True or False: Caffeinated beverages (such as coffee) are less effective than broth for warming you.

These are the answers: 1) 95; 2) hypothermia; 3) d; 4) chest, neck, head, groin; 5) frostbite; 6) e; 7) True

If you’re feeling chilled, how about some chili or other soup to warm you up? This fiber-rich recipe is easy to make, too.

White Chili

1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 c. chopped onion

1/4 c. chopped green chilies (about 2 ounces, canned)

1 16-ounce can of cooked Great Northern beans

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 c. cooked chicken or turkey, diced

1/2 c. Monterey Jack cheese or other cheese of choice

Optional: Assorted toppings, such as shredded cheese, chips, sour cream or salsa

Combine chicken broth, onion, chilies, beans and cumin. Simmer for an hour. Add cheese and chicken. Cook until chili is thick, adding additional broth as needed. Place in serving bowls and add toppings of choice. Makes six servings. Without toppings, each serving has 150 calories, 4.5 grams (g) of fat, 14 g of carbohydrate and 4 g of fiber.

(Julie Garden-Robinson is a North Dakota State University Extension Service food and nutrition specialist and associate professor in the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences.)

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Julie Garden-Robinson, (701) 231-7187,
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136,
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