An American Red Cross official had some advice Monday which - due to dangerously cold temperatures - could be the difference between trial and tragedy.
"People should check on their neighbors and use caution as record lows hit our area," Todd James, executive director of the American Red Cross of Hancock, Seneca and Wyandot Counties, stated in an email. "Small things make the biggest amount of difference when it's this cold."
By "small things" James meant following directions and exercising precaution. But the advice about checking on neighbors should extend to passersby, as well.
Consider two tales of stranded motorists Monday.
A Tiffinite became stuck in the snow while heading to work Monday morning. A man in a truck stopped to pull the vehicle free of the snow, then literally plowed the way back to safety for the motorist.
Meanwhile, police in Wauseon reported finding a 90-year-old woman dead in snow near her stranded car. Apparently, she had attempted to return home after getting stuck.
During typical winter weather, help may be summoned within minutes via cell phones. But when wind chills reach lethal levels, people can succumb to the cold within minutes.
On days such as this, doing a "small thing" such as checking on a neighbor or a stuck vehicle and assisting a driver can mean a big difference.