Last month was an unexpectedly cold and snowy one for many states, especially for Buffalo, New York, who experienced more than 6 feet of snow within the matter of a few days. Many houses in that region were damaged, vehicles were buried, and travel was absolutely halted for days on end.
Knowing how to stay safe and warm in a huge snowstorm is crucial, especially if you live in an area that is prone to experiencing harsh winter weather. Read the following tips below to see how you can stay safe! After all, this advice could save your life.
Tips for Outside
Seek Shelter Immediately – In the winter, blowing winds can make the wind chill plummet, which can in turn reduce your core body temperature to dangerous levels. With every minute that you spend outside exposed to the cold weather, the risk of frostbite and hypothermia increases, so seek shelter as soon as possible.
Keep Dry – Don’t keep wet clothing on! Light a small fire to help provide you warmth and dry your clothes out. In the meantime, change into dry clothing while you wait for the wet ones to dry.
Stay Hydrated – Dehydration is very common in the cold weather, so be sure to keep your water intake up. About a cup of water an hour will work. If you have no water available, gather some clean snow and put it in a dry, clean container like a canteen, wait for it to melt, and drink.
Tips for the Car
Stay in the Car – If you happen to be stranded in your vehicle, don’t leave it. Your car won’t just provide you a form of protection, but it will also make it easier for others to see that you need help.
Use Some Heat – Go ahead and run the car for short bursts to give you some heat. About 10 minutes per hour is sufficient enough; after all, you don’t want to run out of gas! Remember to crack the windows a little to bring in fresh air now and a gain. Do check that your tailpipe isn’t blocked, though, as dangerous exhaust fumes can build up and back up into your car.
Move Around – While cars don’t offer you much in the ways of exercising, it’s important to keep your blood pumping. Do something while you’re in the car – stomp your feet, clap your hands, dance to your favorite song – just about anything will do.
Make Them See You – Others on the road can have a tough time seeing vehicles on the side of the road, so make sure your car is visible for a rescue. Hang bits of brightly-colored cloths or plastic from the windows. Whenever the snow stops falling, open the hood of the car – this signals that you are in distress.
Tips for Home
Use Alternate Forms of Heat – If the electricity happens to go out during the storm, seek out an alternative form of heat such as a fireplace or kerosene heater. Be careful, though. These forms of heat can be dangerous without proper ventilation, so try to check that first.
Stay in Place – Now is not the time to keep all the doors open and go from room to room. This is a good way to lose heat in your home and waste electricity. Instead, stick to one room for heat and close off unnecessary rooms in your home. Make sure that there are no air leaks in the room. Additionally, let sunlight in through the window, but block all windows as soon as it gets dark.
Protect Your Pets – When the weather takes a turn for the worse, don’t leave your pets outside to face it alone. Bring them in away from the cold. They’ll be safe and happier to be by your side as well.
Be Prepared – For the car or for your home, it’s always to have a winter weather emergency kit available in case things get worse. Be sure that your kit includes an AM/FM radio, a blanket, rations of food, bottled water, flashlight, first aid kit, and more. If you have young children, make sure to teach them about the contents of the kit and how and when to use it all in case of emergency.
Whether you need to insure your vehicle or make sure that your house is properly protected from the impending winter weather, you can feel safe knowing that the experts at Madison Mutual have you covered. Call us at 1-800-766-MMIC or find us online at www.madisonmutual.com to get started today!