Monday, January 6, 2014
An Artic Chill
Unless you live under a rock I am sure a great many of you have heard about the arctic storm bludgeoning the midwest.
I was out in the creepy walking dead backyard tonight when the weather shifted. Within 15 minutes the temperature dropped 6° a light drizzle changing to face sting sleet and snow. The wind screeched through the trees scaring me (and the dogs) to run with tails tucked.
The hubbs loaded his emergency supplies into the truck and stacked extra firewood in the garage. The generator, along with an extra 5 gallons of gas are at the ready. We have stockpiled water, batteries, lanterns, extra blankets, gloves, scarves and hats.
As I sit writing this I am listening to howling winds buffering the house, as it creaks and groans. I hope the storm won't be as bad as predicted and if so, I hope we are prepared. Weather like this truly freaks me out because it shows how little control I actually have and it makes me feel...inadequate. I will worry about the hubbs, the kids, my family, my neighbors and friends. Because I am, after all, a world class worrier.
Hints and tips for dealing with the bitter cold
1. Dress appropriately with head and hands covered if you go outdoors in temperatures below freezing. Gloves are better than mittens. Wool, silk and polypropylene will hold more heat as an inner layer of clothing. Most heat loss is at the head. Tissue damage occurs first on the extremities. Frostbite can occur in as little as 10 minutes.
2. Make sure animals have adequate shelter. They are susceptible frostbite, hypothermia and death in extreme weather.
3. Bang on your vehicles prior to starting the engines to dislodge any animals which may have sought shelter from the cold.
3. Stay hydrated. Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages can cause your body to lose heat more rapidly.
4. Have a household emergency supply kit, including a supply of drinking water and non-perishable foods, including a non-electric can opener. Bottled water or water in containers should be stored should water and other utilities be disrupted.
5. Avoid over-exertion. Cold weather puts a strain on the heart, even without exercise. Many winter injuries (and deaths) occur from over-exertion while shoveling heavy snow or pushing cars stuck in snow.
6. Emergency preparedness supplies such as extra blankets, batteries, candles, matches/lighters, lanterns,and a battery operated radio.
7. Have alternate sources for power or heat in the event of utilities loss. If no alternate sources for heat/ power, have an evacuation plan.
8. Prepare your car by filling the tank to avoid fuel line freeze up. Check antifreeze levels. Equip your car with an emergency kit--rock salt/ sand/ cat litter, shovel, and jumper cables. Toss in an extra blanket, extra set of clothes, gloves, hat, boots, some snacks (granola/ raisins, etc) and bottles of water.
9. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged.
10. Operate on a buddy system. Let someone know you schedule/ plans. Reciprocate and check on neighbors and elders.
I hope everyone remains safe and healthy. And just think...only 72 days until Spring!