Cold weather prompts those working outside to take extra precautions

Memphis bundle up to battle the cold

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Most of us are staying bundled inside all day during this cold snap but some Memphians work outside and can't avoid the freezing temperatures.

Tuesday was a day for coats, gloves and scarves. The cold temperatures combined with frigid wind chills can get dangerous fast and those working outside had to take extra precautions to be safe.

There were icicles in Memphis Tuesday, yes icicles! Although they were pretty small. With temperatures hovering in the 20s and wind chill in the teens, it can make working outside dangerous. ​

"Too cold for me!" Terran Arwood from Woodland Tree Service said.

This is the busiest time of year for Woodland Tree Service's firewood business. The company takes trees they remove and chops them up, turning huge trunks into pieces you light for fires during the winter.​

The product they're making produces heat, but it sure isn't warm for these employees. So they take extra precautions. ​

"We'll do safety meetings, typically," Arwood said. "Each year we have reminders, but it's layering. We always allow them to take extra breaks typically the vehicles we let them get those running and let them warm up. But mainly it's just layer upon layer upon layer, gloves obviously and face warmers."

Temperatures this low leave workers outside and the most vulnerable populations the most at risk. ​St. Mary's Catholic Church in downtown Memphis says hundreds of people need major help during the colder months. ​

“We’re serving about 200 people and I hand out stuff daily as I can get it,” said Martin Johnson, director of Homeless Ministries at St. Mary’s Church.

St. Mary's is constantly collecting clothes year round and runs the longest continuously running soup kitchen in the nation.​ November and December are especially critical to help out those without a home. ​

"Well these items are life or death," Johnson said. "Anybody that goes outside could get frostbite or hypothermia within moments of stepping outside so these are critical to their lives. They're that important."

If you want to help, St. Mary’s says this time of year they always need warm weather clothes such as: coats, sweatshirts, hats, gloves, pants, socks and everything in between. You can donate clothes anytime during normal business hours during the week. St. Mary’s Catholic Church is located at 155 Market Street.

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