If you live in a place where winter comes every holiday season, you know the drill: Four to five months of heavy clothes, seeing your breath and generally freezing outside. Sometimes even elsewhere, winter stops in for an unexpected visit. But beyond the inconvenience and discomfort, a winter storm or other severe weather conditions can cause real damage. So it’s important to think about winter preparedness.
Protecting your home and yourself is vital. A frozen water pipe can burst and flood your house or basement. An ice dam in your gutter can cause water to seep into and saturate an interior wall. And then there’s your car. Making sure it’s prepped to face winter’s worst is just as critical. After all, what would happen if a blizzard stranded you in your car?
Prepare yourself for an awesome winter season
Stay indoors during the storm. Walk carefully on snowy, icy walkways. Avoid overworking when shoveling snow. It’s a serious workout, and going at it too hard can bring on a heart attack a’ a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside. Stay dry. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits the cold quickly.
-Signs of frostbite include: loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities. If any of these occur, get medical help immediately.
-Signs of hypothermia include: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.
If any of the hypothermia symptoms appear, get yourself (or the victim) to a warm location, remove wet clothing, and warm the center of the body first. Give the patient warm, non-alcoholic beverages if they are conscious. And of course, get medical help as soon as possible.
Prepare your home and vehicle for winter defense
Do things like cleaning out the gutters, disconnect and drain all outside hoses. If possible, shut off outside water valves. If any of the gaps can fit a credit card, you’re going to lose a huge/extreme amount of heat taking lumps of money through power bills or your store. Insulate walls and attics, and (thick-flowing waterproof sealant) and weather-strip doors and windows.
Repair roof leaks and remove tree branches that could get weighed down with ice or snow and fall on your house and other close-by areas. If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed when you’re not using it. During cold spells, keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes, especially those in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Clean the garage so you can park your vehicles in it. Nothing is worse than having mass amounts of snow lumped on your car. It is also much better for any other vehicles, such as the lawnmower, to be sitting in a garage than outdoors in winter. So when you have time, move some of those things around so you can bring the car in.
If you need to travel in a far place to work, be sure to get a preheating kit so you won’t have a hard time starting up your car. However, drive only if it is completely and totally necessary. If you must drive, travel during the day. Don’t travel alone and keep others informed of your schedule. Stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts while you drive.
A well-prepared driver is a top-notch survivor. Be sure to check your car essentials: antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, gas, oil and other fluids. Make sure your tires have enough tread. Think about buying snow tires for that stability and hassle-free snow driving.
Clear snow from the top of the car, headlights and windows. Save the numbers of your trusted mechanic, auto club, insurance agent and towing service into your cell phone. And of course, keep a cold-weather kit in your trunk. It should include a blanket or sleeping bag, gloves, hard candy, bottled water, folding shovel, first aid kit, flashlight and cell phone charger.
And the last thing, enjoy this time holiday season. Don’t impede your plans because you fear the worse things that happen during winter season. Remember: Winter is necessary to make our planet well-balanced.