a. Meteorological Data. All commanders should be familiar with the utilization
of simple weather data such as humidity, temperature, wind, and ground surface
conditions, which influence the risk of cold injury.
Some weather conditions will require shortening of the exposure time of
individuals engaged in patrol, guard, or motor movements in unheated vehicles.
These weather conditions can frequently be anticipated by using weather
data to predict the hazard for the next 12-hour period.
Thus, clothing may be provided for anticipated weather conditions and
the periods of exposure shortened, if indicated.
b. Cold Injury Control Officer. Each platoon or comparable-sized unit should
have a cold injury control officer or noncommissioned officer. This person should be
carefully selected on the basis of leadership, interest, and ability to supervise others in
simple but constant preventive activities. Frequent observation of the soldiers for early
signs and symptoms of cold injury is of the utmost importance.
He should check the soldiers daily for good personal hygiene---especially
good foot care. A change of socks at appropriate intervals, along with reasonable
efforts to keep feet clean and dry, is essential.
He should likewise encourage efforts to perform warming exercises,
especially during periods of immobility.
He should also ensure that soldiers DO NOT wear their clothing and
footgear so tight as to constrict blood circulation.
c. The Buddy System. Members of squads and patrols should be taught to
observe their companions for evidence of cold injury.
(1) Immediate care. If sudden blanching of the skin is noted promptly,
immediate care will usually prevent the development of a more serious cold injury.
Holding (not rubbing) a warm hand on the blanched area of an ear,
nose, or cheek until a normal color has been restored provides adequate rewarming.
The part must then be protected against further exposure to cold.
Fingers can be warmed against the skin of the abdomen or the armpit.
Toes can be rewarmed by holding them against a companion's chest
or abdomen under his outer clothing.
(2) Signs/symptoms. A reliable symptom of early frostbite of fingers and toes
is the sudden loss of the sensation of cold or discomfort in the part. This is often