Baby, it’s more than cold outside—it is downright frigid across most of the U.S. Whether you were born in an igloo or have never seen a snowflake, there is no time like the present to brush up on your cold weather survival tips. The key to making it through the winter is learning how to stay warm under any circumstances.
Survival tips for people
You may not put much stock in Punxsutawney Phil and that whole “seeing his shadow” thing, but according to the tubby rodent we are in for six more weeks of winter. Basic survival tips may just be common sense, but it doesn’t hurt to review them anyway.
“Survival guide to stay safe in the frigid cold,” an article in the January 22, 2014, USAToday by Jolie Lee, offers these suggestions on layering to stay warm and the signs of frostbite:
1) Layer up
- First layer—wool or synthetic material next to your skin, not cotton
- Second layer—a sweater or fleece; again, no cotton
- Third layer—a coat, ideally one that is waterproof and insulated
2) Frostbite signs
- A prickly or itchy sensation
- Skin color change—red, white, pale or grayish-yellow
- A hard or waxy appearance
- Numbness and blisters (if you see blisters, don’t pop them)
Survival tips for your car
You know that you have to be careful of the cold temperatures, but what about your car? Even vehicles need some TLC in the winter with cold weather survival tips. “Six Tips for Common Cold Weather Car Questions” by Mark Savage and Stephanie Lecci on January 27, 2014, for WUWM.com has the information you need to keep your wheels up and running until spring:
- Shorten your warm up time—It only takes 10 to 15 seconds to get the fluids going.
- Wash off the salt once a winter—The paint on today’s cars is better at withstanding the damage from road salt.
- Check your air pressure—The cold can affect the air pressure in your tires, which impacts your gas mileage and your car’s traction.
- 4-wheel drive is no match for ice—So even if your car is equipped, you still need to be extra careful on the slick stuff.
Survival tips for your pet
Last, but not least, be careful with your furry friend. Sure they have a fur coat, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be in danger when the temperatures fall. Of course, helping your pet stay warm is one of the most important cold weather survival tips. But Scott Hensley shared other suggestions in “Cold Weather Tips to Keep Your Pets in Good Health” on January 7, 2014, for NPR’s health blog.
- Avoid getting wet. Cold and wet is a good way to give Fluffy hypothermia.
- Wipe their feet. After Fido’s walk, wipe the frozen snow and salt from between his paw pads.
- Bundle up the wee ones. If you have a smaller dog, put him or her in a sweater before heading outdoors.
- Keep them inside when you shovel. You don’t want Spot chasing the shovel and getting injured.
- Be careful starting your car. Take a moment to knock on your car’s hood, to chase any kitty who thought the engine was a warm place to spend the night.
- Clean up antifreeze leaks. The liquid tastes sweet to pets, but it is extremely toxic.
Whether or not winter goes on for six more weeks in your neck of the woods, these cold weather survival tips will help you stay warm and cozy until that first glorious day of spring.
How have you been dealing with this winter’s extreme cold? Share your suggestions and advice in the comments below.