WHEELING W.Va. – (WTRF) Being prepared for the cold weather is key in preventing hypothermia. 

Experts recommend dressing in lots of layers including a heavy coat that repels wind and rain. 

Before you leave the house, check for three important things gloves, a hat, and scarf. Those items are crucial in freezing temperatures. 

Dr. Nancie Fitch, Area Medical Director at MedExpress says a lot of heat loss is through the head and a hat will essentially contain your body heat and help protect you from hypothermia.  

The first thing you would notice is feeling very colds, starting to shiver and then as you get more and more hypothermic, you can become sleepy, a little confused, slurred speech. It becomes more difficult to move around. 

Your heart rate is going to start to slow down because the body is trying to conserve all of its energy. So, as you go further and further down the road of hypothermia, the body will eventually shut down completely.

Dr. Nancie Fitch, Area Medical Director at MedExpress

Fitch says if you cannot get in a position where you can warm up, then try to get out of as much weather as possible and keep moving.

She says running in place or doing jumping jacks will allow your body to make its own body heat. 

However, if you’re out playing or working in these cold temperatures you need to make sure you dress appropriately and take breaks to warm up.