Campus Safety /
Crime happens. Even on the safest campus. Capital University takes safety seriously. And we believe that keeping yourself informed about possible safety issues on or near campus is one of the best things you can do to help keep yourself safe. That's why we created the Campus Safety Bulletin. Anytime something happens on or near campus that we think is cause for concern, we'll post it here. We hope this information, as well as our safety tips, helps you make safe choices and helps keep Capital safe for everyone.
Anyone with information warranting the timely warning of a crime should report the situation to Public Safety at (614) 236-6666.
Date: Sunday, January 24, 2016Location: Construction Site, Bexley CampusIncident: Gas Leak
Update: 12:07 pmThe tank has been repaired and the all clear has been given. All normal activities on campus may resume.
Update: 10:15 amA gas leak was reported at the Convergent Media Center construction site, located on Capital's University's Bexley campus, 1 College and Main, at approximately 10 am Sunday, January 24. Capital Police, Columbus Division of Fire, Facilities Management and construction authorities responded and temporarily closed College Avenue and evacuated Renner Hall while the leak was contained.
The leak reportedly came from a gas tank at the construction site. The tank will be removed, and the site is secured. College Avenue has reopened, but Renner Hall and the construction site remain off limits at this time. All other buildings scheduled to be open today remain open.
Avoid Renner Hall & construction site until further notice. Don't smoke, use cell phone, open-flames or light switches in or around construction site or Renner Hall.
Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2016, approximately 2 pmLocation: Capital University Law School, 303 E. Broad StreetIncident: Possible Gas Leak
Update: approximately 2 pmCapital University Law School is being evacuated due to possible gas leak. Columbia Gas is on route. Avoid the building. Do not smoke, use cell phone, lighters or open-flame devices in or around building. Classes in progress have been canceled. A determination on evening classes will be made as soon as possible.
Update: 3:54 pmPolice gave the all-clear at 3:45 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2016, following a bomb threat and evacuation of Harry C. Moores Student Union at Capital University’s Bexley Campus, 1 College and Main.Students will be permitted to return to the building briefly to retrieve their belongings from 4 to 4:15 pm, but the Student Union will remain closed for the day. Dinner will be provided in The Capital Center from 5 to 7:30 pm. The Department of Homeland Security will continue to investigate.
Update: 3:35 pmAt approximately 2:15 pm (EST) on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, Capital University Police received a bomb threat directed at the Harry C. Moores Student Union, located on Capital's Bexley campus, 1 College and Main. The building was evacuated immediately and will remain closed for the remainder of the day. All events and activities scheduled to occur in the building have been canceled.Capital Police, Department of Homeland Security, State Highway Patrol, Columbus Fire Department and Bexley Police are on the scene, and the building is being searched.Classes in all other buildings will continue as scheduled. No other buildings are affected at this time.
Update: 2:28 pmCapital University Police received a phoned-in bomb threat. Police are responding. The Student Union is being evacuated. Bomb Squad on route to investigate. Avoid Student Union until further notice. Other buildings on the Bexley campus are not off limits at this time.
Date: Saturday, November 14, 2015, 1 amLocation: Capital Commons ApartmentsIncident: Aggravated Menacing
Capital University Police are investigating a report of aggravated menacing at Capital Commons Apartments. According to police, a Capital student reported he returned to his apartment at 1 am Saturday, November 14, and found a threatening note with racial slurs and symbols on it taped to his door.
Residential and Commuter Life is assisting the student, and police are actively investigating. Anyone with any information regarding this incident or any other campus crime should contact Capital police at 236-6666.
Capital University does not tolerate words or actions that violate human dignity. We consider acts of intolerance taken against one member of our community to be a violation of the community as a whole.
Capital's Human Dignity Policy states: "The members of our campus community must respect all persons regardless of race, ethnic origin, gender, age, religion, ability or sexual orientation. While we realize that acts of intolerance may be the result of ignorance and that a significant part of our mission is to confront ignorance with education, we cannot allow these acts to harm another person. In the same sense that we are called to support the mission of Christian higher education, we are also called to commit our energies and resources to the continual task of combating both subtle and obvious intolerance."
"Capital University regards as unacceptable conduct on the part of its students, faculty, and staff, words or actions that are intended to be, or that are reasonably foreseeable to be, threatening, intimidating, or harassing to any member of the university community including students, faculty, staff, guests and contracted service employees on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, religion or physical or mental condition."
Capital's Office of Diversity and Inclusion is a valuable resource for students and employees, and is committed to building an inclusive university environment through programming that fosters an appreciation and respect for the culture, history and traditions of all people.
Anyone who experiences or witnesses violations of this policy, or needs additional information regarding these topics, should contact Almar Walter, director of Diversity and Inclusion, at email@example.com, or Jennie Smith, dean of students, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Theresa Feldmeier, director of Human Resources, at email@example.com, or Public Safety at 236-6666.
On Thursday, August 27, at about 3:30 pm, two Columbus police officers spotted a maroon Honda Element heading west on East Whittier Street and noted it matched the description of the one that had been reported stolen from Capital University. The officers located the occupied vehicle on South 18th Street, and as they approached, the driver and other occupants reportedly pulled over and took off on foot.
According to police, the driver and a backseat passenger were located, identified and taken into custody. They are juveniles, so their identities will remain private. Police confirmed through the license plate that the vehicle matched the one that had been stolen from Capital's S2 lot, and the Honda Element was returned later Thursday afternoon.
Date: Wednesday, August 26, 2015, about 8 pmLocation: The Capital Center, Parking Lot S2Incident: Reported Trespassing and Theft of VehicleCapital University Police are investigating a report of a vehicle being stolen from Capital University parking lot S2 at about 8 pm Wednesday, August 26.According to police, four individuals, pictured above, entered several Capital University buildings and eventually stole unattended car keys from The Capital Center. The individuals were later seen on video using the keys to find the corresponding vehicle —a 2006 Honda Element — parked in S2 lot, entering the vehicle and driving off campus. They were last seen headed south on Pleasant Ridge Avenue. If you have any information on these individuals, or if you have information regarding this or any other campus safety matter, please contact Capital Police at 614-236-6666.The safety and health of our University community is our highest priority. Crime happens even on the safest campuses. There are steps you can take to help keep yourself safe and avoid becoming a victim of crime. Find personal safety tips and more important information in Keeping Yourself Safe.
Update: Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 3:45 am According the latest information from police, the suspect has been identified as Christopher Bennett, 28, of Dublin, Ohio. Contrary to initial reports, it is not known whether the suspect gained access to any apartments above Rusty Bucket at Bexley Gateway or whether an incident took place there prior to the suspect's reported encounter with the students at Capital Commons. The suspect was seen running from the apartments above the East Main Street restaurant, but there appears to be only one victim — the student he reportedly grabbed at Capital Commons.
Original post: Tuesday, August 11, 2015, approximately 11:30 pmLocation: Bexley Gateway, located at South Parkview Avenue and E. Main Street, and Capital Commons Apartments, located at Park Drive in BexleyIncident: Reported Aggravated BurglaryA man has been arrested and charged with aggravated burglary after entering a Bexley apartment and grabbing two women in two separate locations. According to police, the man, who is in custody but has not yet been identified, entered a Bexley Gateway apartment located above the Rusty Bucket, 2158 E. Main St., where he grabbed a woman, threw her to the ground injuring her arms, and then ran.
Police reported the man then ran across Main Street to Capital Commons Apartments, located on Park Drive. There, he encountered two Capital students walking toward their apartment and grabbed one of the students by her arm and neck. The other student fought back, injuring his hand in the process. When the student fought back, the man left and headed back across Main Street.
Police were in the area, saw the struggle and pursued the man, who ran back toward the restaurant and jumped the patio fence. Police struggled with man and used a Taser to subdue and arrest him. No serious injuries were reported, and no additional information is available at this time. If you have any information please contact Capital's Public Safety Department at 614-236-6666.
The safety and health of our University community is our highest priority. Crime happens even on the safest campuses. There are steps you can take to help keep yourself safe and avoid becoming a victim of crime. Find personal safety tips and more important information in Keeping Yourself Safe.
Columbus State Community College Police are investigating a sexual imposition that occurred in a Columbus State Community College parking lot at the corner of Spring Street and Grant Avenue, near Capital University Law School.A female student from the Columbus College of Art and Design was heading to class when she was inappropriately touched by a male described as black, late 20s, thin and wearing a red shirt and knit cap. After the incident, the suspect left the scene in an unknown direction. If you have any information please call the Columbus State Police Department at (614) 287-2525. If you have information about any other campus safety matter, please contact Public Safety at 614-236-6666 for the Bexley campus or Capital Law School Security at (614) 236-6161 for our Law School campus.
As always, please remain alert of your surroundings, and travel in pairs. Alert law enforcement or campus personnel to suspicious and criminal activity.
Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at approx. 2:30 pmLocation: Bexley Plaza at Sheridan and LivingstonIncident: Reported Armed Robbery and ShootingColumbus Police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery and shooting reported at approximately 2:30 pm Wednesday, April 15, near Subway Restaurant at Bexley Plaza Shopping Center, in the 2100 block of E. Livingston Avenue. One person was critically injured and taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center. No Capital University students or employees are believed to be involved. Police described the suspects as two black males who were last seen heading east on Livingston Avenue in a vehicle. No other information is available at this time. The investigation continues, so please use caution. If you have any information please contact either the Columbus Police at (614) 645-4545 or Capital's Public Safety Department at 614-236-6666.
The safety and health of our university community is our highest priority. Crime happens even on the safest campuses. There are steps you can take to help keep yourself safe and avoid becoming a victim of crime. Find personal safety tips and more important information in Keeping Yourself Safe.
Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2015, at 1:15 amLocation: Main Street and Parkview Avenue, in BexleyIncident: Reported Armed RobberyBexley Police are investigating a reported armed robbery that took place at an ATM in front of the Rusty Bucket near Capital University's Bexley campus. According to police, the victim reported he was robbed by two men at the ATM in front of Rusty Bucket, located at 2158 E. Main Street in Bexley. One suspect carried a small gun and used it to hit the victim across the face before fleeing in a gold Honda with a dent on the front passenger side, police said. The vehicle headed west on Main Street and north on Nelson Road, away from Capital. According to police, the victim described the first suspect as a black male, 30 to 40 years old, with short hair and wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, black hat and jeans, and answering to the name Man. The other suspect was described as a black male, 20 to 30 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall with short, tight hair, wearing a gray T-shirt and jeans, and answering to the name D.No one was seriously injured, and no Capital students are believed to be involved.
Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2015, at 11:13 amLocation: Mound Street near The Capital Center, Bexley CampusIncident: Reported Armed RobberyCapital University Police are investigating the reported armed robbery of four students near The Capital Center, located at the corner of Pleasant Ridge Avenue and Mound Street on the Bexley campus.The initial call to police came in as a reported fight at 11:13 am Tuesday, February 24. Police are now investigating the incident as an armed robbery. According to police, four students had just left a campus residence hall on their way to The Capital Center when they were approached by two males. One male reportedly punched a student, and the other suspect showed a handgun. The suspects took the students' wallets, ran and fled campus in a black car.Suspects are described as African American males between 5 foot 10 and 6 foot 1 wearing dark clothing described as a gray sweatshirt, dark green bandana and a knit cap. No additional information is available at this time. The investigation continues, though police gave the "all clear" at 11:49 am. The suspects were not located. Please continue to use caution and be aware of your surroundings. If you have any information regarding this or any other campus safety matter, please contact Capital University Police at 614-236-6666. You also will find resources and tips on how to keep yourself safe on our Campus safety webpage at www.capital.edu/campus-safety.
Date: Friday, February 20, 2015Location: Capital University, Bexley CampusIncident: Voyeurism InvestigationCapital University’s Public Safety department, in collaboration with other area law enforcement agencies, is investigating incidents in which a male student used a mobile phone to secretly take photographs of other male students in University bathrooms. The suspect has been identified, suspended and removed from the University. If you have information that may be relevant to the investigation, or any other campus safety matter, please contact Public Safety at 614-236-6666.Capital is committed to creating and maintaining an educational environment free from all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct. Sexual exploitation, defined as taking non-consensual, unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another, is specifically prohibited. Examples include, but are not limited to, non-consensual photographing, videotaping or audiotaping of sexual and other private activities, and engaging in non-consensual voyeurism. These acts have a real impact on the lives of victims. They not only violate a person’s feelings of trust and safety, but they can also substantially interfere with a student’s education.The University offers a variety of resources for students concerned about sexual misconduct:
These offices can be contacted for information on sexual misconduct, to provide support to victims, or to report incidents of misconduct. The University prohibits retaliation against individuals who file a complaint of sexual misconduct, act as a witness, or participate in a sexual misconduct proceedings.
Update (5:20 pm)As the investigation continues, police have ruled out a charge of abduction. The evidence does not support that the alleged victim was forced from the residence hall, into the car or off campus. No charges have been filed at this time. Update (11:29 am)Bexley Police have arrested the four individuals, and they have been banned from Capital's campus. Their identities are not yet available. If you have any information regarding this matter, please call Bexley Police at 614-239-8881. If you have information regarding other campus safety matters, please call Capital Police at 614-236-6666. Remember these safety tips and resources for keeping yourself safe. Original post (10:30 am)Capital University is cooperating with Bexley Police in an ongoing investigation regarding a reported abduction. At approximately 10:30 am Tuesday, January 27, Bexley Police detained for questioning several Capital students as persons of interest. They remain with police, but no arrests have been made at this time.According to police, the victim, a male non-Capital student, reported he was taken from a Capital University residence hall early Tuesday morning by four male students, forced into a nearby black two-door car and later released. No additional information is being released at this time, but this bulletin post will be updated as the investigation continues. No CapAlert was issued because it was a contained incident. Bexley Police are investigating an assault reported near the intersection of Drexel and Fair avenues in the area of Capital's Bexley campus. According to police, a male was approached by three male juveniles who reportedly punched him in the face twice before fleeing east on Fair Avenue. The suspects may have fled in a silver Dodge or Chrysler sedan. According to police, the victim described the suspects as juvenile black males, one who wore a blue hooded sweatshirt and black sweatpants and another who wore a gray sweatshirt and black sweatpants. No arrests have been made, and the suspects are believed to have left the area. The incident remains under investigation. No Capital students are believed to be involved. If you have any information regarding this or any other crime, please call Public Safety at 614-236-6666.
Police have arrested a juvenile on a charge of aggravated robbery following a report of armed robbery at Kroger on Main Street at approximately 8:45 pm Thursday, November 20.
According to police the juvenile robbed a mother and her daughter at Kroger. The mother chased the suspect, who reportedly was armed and wearing a ski mask, across Main Street and past the bridge over Alum Creek to the parking lot near Capital Commons.
Columbus police responded and were assisted in the search by Capital police. The suspect was spotted at the bus stop on Main Street, near the woods by Capital Commons, and then again running east along Main Street. He eventually was apprehended on the sidewalk outside of Christ Lutheran Church.
Police recovered the weapon at the bus stop, where the suspected had been spotted. According to police the weapon turned out to be an Airsoft air gun. Neither the victims nor the suspect are connected to Capital.
Date: Friday, October 17, at approximately 1 am Location: Residence Hall on Capital University's Bexley CampusIncident: Reported Sexual Assault
Capital University and Bexley police responded to a report of sexual assault at approximately 1 am Friday, October 17. According to police, a student reported the assault to a residence hall area director, who notified Capital Police. The incident took place in a residence hall on Capital's campus. Police located and detained a suspect shortly thereafter, alleviating any immediate threat to the health and safety of the campus community. Both individuals are Capital students. The investigation is ongoing. No arrest has been made at this time.
If you have information about this or other campus safety issues, please contact Capital police at 614-236-6666.
Date: Friday, October 3, 2014, at approximately 7:34 pmLocation: Incident reported at Capital University Law School, 303 E. Broad St. Incident: Reported Attempted Sexual Assault
Columbus Police are investigating a report of an attempted sexual assault from Friday, October 3. According to the report, a woman approached the security station at the law school parking lot and reported an attempted rape to law school security and the Special Improvement District security officers. Columbus Police also responded and are investigating. The reporting victim is not a Capital student or employee. It is unclear at this time where the incident occurred. The investigation continues and the University will provide additional information as it becomes available.
Date: Friday, August 29, 2014, at approximately 11:15 pmLocation: 900 block of Euclaire Ave., in BexleyIncident: Reported Armed robbery
Bexley police are searching the area for two suspects in an armed robbery reported Friday night, August 29, in the 900 block of Euclaire Avenue near Capital University's Bexley campus. The suspects are described as white males. According to initial reports, one of the men was armed with a gun. No injuries were reported, and at this time it appears neither victim is connected to Capital. No additional descriptions or information are available at this time. The investigation continues.
If you have any information regarding this or any other safety matter, please contact Capital police at 614-236-6666 or Bexley police at 614-239-8881.
Date: Saturday, August 2, 2014, approximately 10 pmLocation: Congregation Torat Emet, located at 2375 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43209, in BexleyIncident: Reported Armed Robbery, Assault
Update: Police gave the "all clear" at 11:21 pm Saturday. The suspect has not been found, and no arrest has been made. Please continue to use caution.
Bexley police are investigating a reported armed robbery near the Bexley campus at approximately 10 pm Saturday, August 2. According to police, a male at the synagogue was approached by a suspect who tried to rob him as he approached his car. A struggle ensued, and the suspect, who reportedly was armed with a knife, fled toward Bernlohr Stadium. The victim reportedly was cut on the face during the struggle. According to police, the suspect was last seen heading toward Francis Avenue, where police continue to search. The suspect is described as an African American male in his 20s wearing a white sweatshirt, possibly with short sleeves.
No additional information is available at this time. If you have information about this or other campus safety issues, please contact Capital police at 614-236-6666 or Bexley police at 614-239-8881.
Date: Thursday, July 24, 2014, at approximately 11:30 am Location: CVS, located at 2532 E Main St., Columbus, OH Incident: Reported Bomb Threat
Capital police were notified of a reported bomb threat at CVS Pharmacy, located at 2532 E Main St., in Bexley, several blocks east of campus. The call came in about 11:30 am, Thursday, July 24, and the CapAlert emergency notification system was launched within minutes.
Bexley police are investigating and have found the threat was a hoax. The suspect reportedly called the business a second time while investigators were on the scene and demanded money. No bomb was found. No other other information is available at this time, and the incident remains under investigation.
Date: Thursday, June 19, 2014, approximately 3:45 pm Location: University Bookstore and Yochum HallIncident: Reported Suspicious Persons
Bexley and Capital police arrested three individuals on felony drug charges at about 3:45 pm Thursday, June 19, in the parking lot behind Yochum Hall, located on Capital University’s Bexley campus. Capital police received a report of suspicious persons in the university bookstore. When police responded, the suspects reportedly fled in a vehicle. Capital called Bexley police for backup, and the suspects were detained in the parking lot behind Yochum Hall. The vehicle was searched, and narcotics were found, according to police. The suspects were arrested.
They were identified as Patrick Fox, 34, of Barker Hill Road, Columbus; Michael E. Fox, 28, of South Columbus St. in Lancaster; and Drake Mathew Thomas, 27, of Chapel Stone Road, Blacklick. None is affiliated with Capital University.
Date: Sunday, May 4, 2014, between 5 and 7 pmLocation: Sheridan Avenue student housing and nearby parking, 700 block of Sheridan Avenue.Incidents: Reported Burglary and theft from vehicle
Capital University and Bexley police departments are investigating several thefts from homes and vehicles in the area. Two incidents were reported Sunday, May 4, at Sheridan Avenue student housing. An arrest has been made in connection with one incident. According to police, Marcus A. Rowe, 31, of Columbus, was arrested on a charge of burglary in connection with an alleged burglary reported Sunday at Sheridan Avenue student housing, located in the 700 block of Sheridan Avenue.
According to the incident report, a student reported someone entered an unlocked apartment around 5 pm and stole a flat-screen TV, Xbox 360 and controllers for the game system. Losses were valued at approximately $325. No one was home at the time of the reported incident, and no one was injured.
Police are still investigating a second incident reported in the same area at about the time. According to a second police report, a student called Capital police after discovering someone entered his unlocked vehicle parked at Sheridan Avenue student housing and stole his iPod from the glove box. The theft occurred sometime between 5 and 7 pm Sunday, May 4. The loss is valued at approximately $200. The incident remains under investigation.
Remember to follow these tips to protect yourself and your property from crimes of opportunity.
Protect Your Property
Crime prevention at Capital University requires widespread involvement for it to succeed. Capital University recently added a new crime-prevention tool, called EyeWitness. EyeWitness is a free text-message crime reporting system connected directly to Capital University Police Dispatch. Standard text messaging rates apply, but there is no cost to use the system. Any time, day or night, you can use EyeWitness to text a crime tip or report suspicious activity to campus police. Here's how:
You don't have to be on campus for it to work. Even if you live off campus and in Bexley, your crime tip will be shared with the appropriate police department. If you have any questions about EyeWitness and how it works, please call Capital police at 614-236-6666.
Date: Friday, April 11, 2014, about 3:20 pmLocation: In the area of Plymouth and Dawson avenues, in BexleyIncident: Reported Suspicious Person/Vehicle
Bexley Police received a call about a suspicious person and vehicle in the area of Plymouth Avenue and Dawson avenues, in Central Bexley, north of Capital's campus. According to police, the caller reported that a heavyset black male, possibly in his 30s, driving a light green Kia with the license plate number of FBF5543, stopped and asked her for directions. The caller stated that she noticed that the male was committing a lewd act inside the vehicle as he spoke to her. Officers responded to the area within minutes, but did not find the vehicle. If you see a vehicle matching this description, call Bexley Police at 614-559-4444 or Capital Police at 614-236-6666.
You can also text a crime tip to Capital Police using EyeWitness, a free text-message crime reporting system connected directly to Capital University Police Dispatch. Standard text messaging rates apply, but there is no cost to use the system. Any time, day or night, you can use EyeWitness to text a crime tip to campus police. Here's how:
You don't have to be on campus for it to work. Even if you live off campus and in Bexley, your crime tip will be shared with the appropriate police department.
Date: January 23, 2014, 9:08 pm Location: Stanwood Road and Delmar Avenue, in North BexleyIncident: Homicide Investigation
Bexley Police are investigating the shooting death of Rudolph Edward-Anthony Calmese Jr., of Columbus. On Monday, January 23, at about 9 pm, Bexley and Columbus police responded to a call about a shooting near the intersection of North Stanwood Road and Delmar Avenue on the far north side of Bexley. Calmese was identified as the victim and taken to Grant Medical Center, where he died at 5:25 am Tuesday, January 24.
The investigation continues. Anyone with information regarding this crime should call Bexley Police Department at 614-559-4444. Anyone with information about campus crime and safety should call Capital police at 236-6666.
Date: Thursday, January 9, 2014, 6 amLocation: Harry C. Moores Student UnionIncident: Water Main Break
A major water main break in the Harry C. Moores Student Union has closed the southeast entrance and southeast portion of the first floor. The southeast entrance is near the tennis courts.
The Office of Facilities Management is working to repair damage to offices damaged by water. The building will remain open for dining and other activities, but please avoid the southeast side of the first floor.
When the weather is extremely cold, and especially if there are high winds, try to stay indoors. Make any trips outside as brief as possible, and remember these tips below to protect your health and safety.
Dress Warmly and Stay Dry
Adults and children should wear:
Be sure the outer layer of your clothing is tightly woven, preferably wind resistant, to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind. Wool, silk, or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton. Stay dry—wet clothing chills the body rapidly. Excess perspiration will increase heat loss, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm. Also, avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin while de-icing and fueling your car or using a snow blower. These materials in contact with the skin greatly increase heat loss from the body. Do not ignore shivering. It’s an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.
Avoid Frostbite and Hypothermia
When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up your body’s stored energy. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.
Hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, but it can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat or submersion in cold water.
Frostbite is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.
Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold. Otherwise, if you have to do heavy outdoor chores, dress warmly and work slowly. Remember, your body is already working hard just to stay warm, so don’t overdo it.
Understand Wind Chill
The Wind Chill index is the temperature your body feels when the air temperature is combined with the wind speed. It is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the effects of wind and cold. As the speed of the wind increases, it can carry heat away from your body much more quickly, causing skin temperature to drop. When there are high winds, serious weather-related health problems are more likely, even when temperatures are only cool.Recognizing Frostbite
At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin—frostbite may be beginning. Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite:
A victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb.
What to Do
If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care. Because frostbite and hypothermia both result from exposure, first determine whether the victim also shows signs of hypothermia. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires emergency medical assistance.
If (1) there is frostbite but no sign of hypothermia and (2) immediate medical care is not available, proceed as follows:
These procedures are not substitutes for proper medical care. Hypothermia is a medical emergency and frostbite should be evaluated by a health care provider. It is a good idea to take a first aid and emergency resuscitation (CPR) course to prepare for cold-weather health problems. Knowing what to do is an important part of protecting your health and the health of others.
Taking preventive action is your best defense against having to deal with extreme cold-weather conditions. By preparing your home and car in advance for winter emergencies, and by observing safety precautions during times of extremely cold weather, you can reduce the risk of weather-related health problems.