sending my love and warm thoughts to everyone in the southern united states whos dealing with a winter storm! here’s some tips
gotta leave at 8? start your car at 7:45, crank the defrost and heat up
don’t have winter boots? that’s fine! layer up some socks for warmth and try to walk on any dirt/grass to avoid ice. if you can’t avoid ice patches, keep your weight balanced on your foot (press down carefully and with your whole foot)
layers. start with a tank top, then a shirt, then a sweater, then a jacket, then another jacket!! hoods are your friend, keep your ears warm. jeans are terrible for holding warmth so wear leggings under jeans
open your cabinets under your sinks so your pipes don’t freeze
close your blinds as best you can/put saran wrap over your windows and the seals to cover any leaks and keep in the heat
when driving, reduce your speed by at least 5 mph, maybe 10 if it’s especially icy
if you find yourself spinning out, let go of the wheel and let off the breaks. don’t try to course correct!! you can pump the breaks a bit but try to let the car come to a stop naturally
bring your pets inside! also check your car wheels before leaving in the morning as stray cats can and will sleep there for warmth/shelter
drive carefully, drink lots of warm drinks, eat lots of soup, and consider giving to shelters/homeless organizations/food banks. winter storms are hardest on those who have little. northerners feel free to add any advice you have!!
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COLD WEATHER TIPS FROM SOMEONE WHO LIVES WHERE IT’S COLD:
I always see posts about layering clothing, but there are so many more creative ways to help keep you warm if you don’t have a lot of warm clothes. But first, a note on layering clothing:
-Your underlayer is your WICKING layer. That means it is a layer specifically to absorb the moisture your body produces. DO NOT USE COTTON AS A BOTTOM LAYER. Use merino wool if possible, but other good substitutions are nylon, polyester and rayon.
-Your middle layer is for insulation. You want AIR POCKETS in there, NOT tight fitting clothes. This is where you want to put your fluffy sweaters, your fleece, down, fur, flannel, or vests. If you do not have these, you can substitute with multiple layers of long sleeve shirts.
-Your outer layer is for keeping the cold away from your body. If you do not have a jacket, you can put on your thickest piece of clothing and then a raincoat over it. Windbreaker if you have one.
-Jeans are the absolute worst at holding heat. Use only as a last resort.
-You can’t really ever have too many layers on your feet. Alternate tucking your layers of pants into your layers of socks to keep your ankles warm!
-Wear a hat OVER a hood if it will fit! This will keep your ears warmest.
TAKE OFF/OUT ANY AND ALL JEWELERY/PIERCINGS
-If you have a medical bracelet, DO NOT REMOVE IT. If you can, tuck a layer of clothes between it and your skin.
-Raid your recycling. Gather all cardboard boxes and break them down so that they are flat. Put them on the floor to add more layers between you and the cooling house. Newspaper will also serve the same purpose.
-In an emergency, you can also layer newspaper between clothing layers. Don’t worry about looking stupid if you’re staying warm.
-If you have a tent, set that sucker up in whatever room you have decided to stay in. Stay in it and keep it zipped shut as much as you can, but do NOT cover the vent at the top. You can put the rain fly up, but make sure there is circulating air for you to breathe.
-You are probably not going to feel very hungry at times. DO NOT STOP EATING OR DRINKING. Digestion produces a lot of body heat and the food will give your body energy to keep itself going.
-The best foods are heavy and full of carbs and proteins. Eat nuts, eggs, pasta, meats, and beans. If you are on a diet, now you’re not. If you’re vegetarian... bulk up on those pastas and nuts.
-Try not to sweat. If you are finding yourself getting damp, take off the outer layer just until you start to cool slightly. Then redress! Your bottom layer should dry quickly, and being wet is dangerous.
-On that note, STAY ACTIVE. You are probably going to want to hunker down and snuggle up, but that will make your muscles cramp. Every 15-20 minutes do something that gets you up and about. Walk circles in the room, do a couple jumping jacks, stretch, whatever. Just enough to move some blood around your body. Don’t get sweaty or out of breath, it’s just a little movement.
-CHAPSTICK. ON YOUR LIPS. ON YOUR NOSE. ON YOUR EARS. ON YOUR KNUCKLES. Don’t let your extremities get dry or cracked.
SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA:
-Confusion or memory loss
-Dizziness or lack of coordination
-Inability to be woken from sleep
CHILDREN AND INFANTS!!!! I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH.
-Children WILL get colder before you. Make sure they are properly bundled up.
-If you need to breastfeed, put a blanket over the both of you and wait a few minutes for the air to warm before removing or shifting your clothing.
-DO NOT COVER AN INFANTS FACE. ESPECIALLY WHEN SLEEPING. Keep them tucked inside your own clothes when possible. As close to your heart and stomach as possible.
-Put chapstick on children’s cheeks and clean their face often if they are crying or wiping at their nose. This will prevent cracked skin and irritation.
-Make sure your children are staying as hydrated as you! They are going to fuss and not want to drink cold things, but they NEED liquids.
SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA IN INFANTS AND TODDLERS ARE DIFFERENT:
-Shortness of breath
-Cold, red skin
-Lethargy or listlessness
CHECK ON YOUR NEIGHBORS. CHECK ON CHILDREN. CHECK ON THE ELDERLY. STAY SNUGGLED. STAY SAFE.
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