As the first month of 2019 came to a close, the Midwestern United States along with Eastern Canada found themselves in a brutal winter weather that has claimed at least 22 lives so far. The country has been dealing with the polar vortex since late last year and things are not about to get better with snowstorms making their way to the land of the free. Apparently, the country is not free of natural disasters and the effects of climate change as many Americans are now looking for ways to survive a snowstorm.
Preparing for A Snowstorm
There’s always a chance that a snowstorm may last longer than anyone would want. If we learned anything from what happened to the kingdom of Arendelle, it’s that we won’t last long in extremely icy conditions. Thankfully, they have Anna, Kristoff and Olaf to help Elsa put things back to normal. As for us, we only have ourselves to depend on to survive a snowstorm. It all starts with preparation.
Once there is news of a snowstorm, you should start making your preparations, especially if it is expected to pass through your area. Stay tuned to the news and advisories. When you encounter the phrase “Winter Storm Watch,” that means there is a possibility of a disastrous snowstorm coming in 3 to 4 days. This should give you enough time to prepare. Decide whether you wish to leave town and find a safer place that’s not expected to be affected by the snowstorm. You can also start stocking up on supplies and preparing your home for the extremely cold weather.
A Winter Weather Advisory, meanwhile, means you’ll likely experience inconveniences brought about by the current condition. However, it is not that bad to garner a warning. Be wary of a Winter Storm Warning. This means the winter weather is potentially hazardous and is currently happening or is expected within 24 hours.
Snowstorm-Proof Your Home
If you live in a place where it snows or has a history of winter storms, you should already have made the necessary changes to keep your home safe from such a natural disaster.
Keep It Warm
One such move is to acquire a generator. There’s always the risk of power failure because of the wind and ice. With a generator and ample fuel, you can keep your home warm to help you survive the snowstorm.
Maintain Your Home’s Condition
The roof is susceptible to damage due to strong winds and heavy snow. Make sure it’s in proper condition. Clean the gutter regularly, especially before a storm hits.
The cold will enter your home through cracks and other spaces such as open windows and doors. Keep the openings closed always and make sure they shut tight. Perform weatherstripping on your doors and windows. As for the cracks and holes on walls, use a sealant.
Keep your fireplace clean as well as your stove. You don’t want your stove to not work while you’re trapped in your home during a snowstorm.
Insulate the water pipes. Ideally, you should use the proper insulation materials but if you somehow forgot to do it and a snowstorm is coming, you can use newspapers instead.
As mentioned, you may be staying in your home for a while during a snowstorm. It may not be safe to go out if the cold is too much and the roads are covered in ice. Before the storm hits, gather enough food, water, medicines and other supplies.
If you have fresh meat in the freezer, you may have to cook them all at once if the power goes out. You can keep a cooler full of dry ice for your raw meat but you can’t keep opening it. As tempting as it seems, don’t put your perishable food outside in the snow. The frozen food is still exposed to the sun even if it’s in the snow. It can still thaw and get warm giving bacteria a chance to settle in.
The better and safer option is to stock up on non-perishables such as canned goods, dried foods, grains, and ready-to-eat meals.
Double check your first aid kit if it has everything you may need. Replenish if necessary. Make sure you get a supply of medicines if you or someone in your family is suffering from an existing condition.
If you have a fireplace, you should have ample tinder and firewood to keep the fire burning. You will also need lots of fire starters. Stock up on waterproof matches and lighters. Invest on magnesium rods, as well.
Charge all your phones, tablets, lamps, flashlights and other devices in case the power goes out later on. Just be careful not to overload your extension cords. It’s better not to use candles but if you have no other options, just make sure they are far from anything that easily burns. You should also keep an eye on a burning candle. Put them out if you’re going to bed.
Take your pets and plants inside. You don’t want to leave them outside in the freezing cold.
Survive A Snowstorm as It Happens
If you decided stay home, you should stay inside at all times. Leave only when the authorities say it’s safe to come out so you better stay tuned to the news. In the event of a power failure, use a battery-powered or hand crank radio to stay on top of the news. You should also have extra batteries for your radio and your phones. A better way to communicate during such disasters is through a CB or HAM radio.
It’s important to stay warm if you wish to survive a snowstorm. Keep the thermostat to high if there is still power. If you’re using the fireplace, keep the flue open. Stay away from the windows and doors in case the cold can still penetrate. Never use the gas oven or stove for heat.
Wear the right clothes such as thermal underwear and waterproof clothes. Avoid wearing cotton under your layers as you can still sweat and this material won’t dry quickly enough. If it gets too cold, cover yourselves with wool blankets.
In case you have no other choice but to go out, protect your head, face, ears, hands and feet from frostbite. Wear the right gear such as hats, mittens, wool socks, boots and face covers. Alcohol does not keep your body warm so you shouldn’t depend on it to help you survive the snowstorm. Once you’re out in the cold, keep moving. This will keep your metabolism up and help avoid hypothermia.
After the Snowstorm
Even if the actual storm has left, you should be wary of your actions. You’ll be focusing on cleaning up that’s for sure. Be careful since you can still get into an accident due to the things the snowstorm left behind.
The surfaces will certainly be slippery. Place something on the icy ground such as sand or kitty litter to keep you from slipping. Avoid getting in your car and driving around. Wait until its really safe.
Don’t climb the roof to take off the snow. There are proper and safer ways to do that. When you start shoveling snow all round you, make sure you don’t overexert.
There are certainly there tips to survive a snowstorm. If you know some, please comment below. Visit The Gentleman Pirate for more inspiring ideas on how to survive tragic situations such as this onslaught of snowstorms.
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