Extremely Chill(y)

Arctic Blast is not just an oddly flavored Mountain Dew beverage, it’s a real deal weather phenomena. Unfortunately for over half of the country, we’re dealing with one now. The extreme chill can lead to health problems like hypothermia, frostbite, coma, or even death (though that is more of an effect) in humans and animals, freezes pipes and gas lines, and kills car batteries. Here are some tips to get through this super chilled week:

  • If you are going to be outside for a any period of time or have lost heat in your home, wear a hat. Heat leaves you quickest through your head, and a hat (any kind is better than nothing) will help you retain that heat.

  • Mittens are better than gloves for warmth–your fingers are in direct contact.

  • Dress in loose, warm, and lightweight layers (heavy or tight clothes can restrict blood flow. Plus, many light and loose layers are better than one heavy one).

  • If you are traveling in the cold, make sure reliable parties know when you leave and where you are going. Also, be sure to pack an “emergency” bag with warm blankets, a sleeping bag, plenty of water, a first aid kit, and waterproof matches or a lighter*. For longer trips have extra water, spare food, spare medications, and some extra (warm) clothes**.

  • Indoors or outdoors: stay hydrated. If you are in extreme cold situations avoid drinks like alcohol or coffee as they cause you to lose heat faster.

  • Cover your mouth (i.e. a scarf) to protect your lungs.

  • If you are using a space heater, be sure to give it about 3’ of space to avoid fires and NEVER leave it on when you are sleeping. In addition, if you are using a kerosene heater, maintain good ventilation (carbon monoxide) and refuel outside.

  • If you are expecting a wicked winter storm, stock up on essentials and be sure to charge your electronics…particularly cell phones!

  • If you are in an area known for horrifically cold and snowy winters, perhaps invest in a generator, hand-crank or solar powered devices (radio, charging station, flashlight),

Pets:

Fido and Fluffy are just as susceptible to the cold as you, DO NOT LEAVE THEM OUTSIDE! If you are unable to keep your bare hand on the ground for 5 seconds, chances are, your furry friends shouldn’t keep their paws on it. Alls fury pets need to have their time outdoors limited even if they have a long coat; pets with short hair or that are just short will feel the cold even sooner but they will all feel it pretty quickly. If your pets have been outside be sure to clean off their paws (chemical de-icers are poison, salt can cause sores, and snow packed in the crevices can cause frostbite). If you have an outdoor pet and do not think you can provide them with appropriate shelter, please try to find someone who can.

Vehicles:

The Cold weather can wreak havoc on your car as well as your person. Be sure to maintain at least a half-tank of gas to keep your fuel line from freezing. Also, the cold can sap the power from your battery; if your car is outdoors for long periods of time in extreme cold, start the engine from and let it run for while just to warm it up and charge the battery a little. Never leave a running vehicle unattended and NEVER start and let a vehicle run in an enclosed space (i.e. a garage w/door down)

*Experts say, you should always be traveling with some of these supplies (blanket, first aid kit, water) as well as jumper cables, a flashlight, and flares.

**Some other useful items to have in a “go bag” for bad weather travels: Mylar blankets, spare undies and socks, hand and foot warmers, a multi-tool (i.e. Swiss army knife), maps of area you are traveling in, hand crank or solar powered devices, etc.

Little bit-o-research can be found here!

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