‘It’s bitterly cold:’ Being prepared for winter weather conditions could save your life, says BCSO

KENNEWICK, Wash. — As we continue to see freezing weather and dropping temperatures this winter, officials with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) are warning you to be prepared if you’re heading outside.

According to BCSO Lt. Jason Erickson, staying safe during these cold conditions is of utmost importance.

READ: 2 people and their dog rescued from Rattlesnake Mountain in freezing temperatures

“Make sure that you’re dressed for the weather because it’s bitterly cold out there,” Lt. Erickson said. “It’s important to dress properly. A pair of jeans and a sweatshirt are not going to do it.”

He recommends adding layers with gloves, hats, socks, and more if you’re planning on being outside for a prolonged period of time.

“It’s going to take a little bit longer for that cold weather to get to your core,” Lt. Erickson said.

Another good tip is bringing along warm blankets, hand warmers, and a cellphone and its charger.

“Let somebody know where you’re going, that’s probably the biggest thing,” Lt. Erickson said.

The best way to avoid harsh weather is to stay inside but if you want to go running or hiking, you should only go places you are familiar with where you’ll have company.

“If you’re hiking out around Rattlesnake it’s just not as populated around that area and you’re not going to run into as many people hiking those trails as you would Badger Mountain or Candy Mountain,” Lt. Erickson said. “There is no shelter when you’re out hiking around the mountains here in the Tri-Cities area.”

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