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Erie County Sheriff's Office urging Bills fans to take protective measures against the cold

The sheriff's office is asking anyone who plans on attending the Bills playoff game to take protective measures and to recognize the signs of hypothermia.
Credit: wgrz

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Erie County Sheriff's Office is reminding Buffalo Bills fans to bundle up and use good judgment this weekend as an arctic air mass makes its way towards Western New York.

Saturday's playoff game is expected to be one of the coldest Buffalo Bills games ever in Orchard Park. With kickoff at 8:15 p.m., the temperature will be near 6 to 8 degrees and may fall a degree or two during the game. There will be an easterly breeze between 5 to 10 mph with wind chill values making it feel like below zero.

With this in mind, the sheriff's office is asking anyone who plans on attending the game to take protective measures and to recognize the signs of hypothermia.

"As Bills fans, we waited a long time to attend a home playoff game. However, the extreme cold will add a dangerous element to the night, and people need to protect themselves," said Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia. "That is why I am issuing this warning and providing information so everyone can celebrate and remain safe – Go Bills!"

Those headed to the game should plan on wearing warm and insulating layers of clothing, along with waterproof apparel. The sheriff's office says to avoid wearing cotton layers next to the skin and instead recommends wearing a wicking layer. 

To avoid getting frostbite, make sure you wear proper footwear, head and face coverings, as well as gloves or mittens. And don't forget to bring disposable hand and feet warmers.

If at all during the game, or tailgate, you start to experience shivering, slurred speech, confusion, loss of coordination, drowsiness or exhaustion, this may be hypothermia. If you start to experience these symptoms,you should immediately get inside to a warm area.

Do not fall victim to the alcohol effect. The sheriff's office says once individuals become impaired by alcohol they may not sense the onset of frostbite or hypothermia.

"Alcohol provides an initial warm sensation, but as blood vessels near the skin dilate, the person experiences fast heat loss, causing lower core body temperature. At this point, an individual can be experiencing hypothermia," said the sheriff's office in a press release.

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