Brace Yourself, Winter is Coming!
Winter weather varies from region to region, but regardless of where you, it is very likely at some point to face some severe winter weather accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.
The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the “Deceptive Killers” because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. Instead, people die in traffic accidents on icy roads and of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold. It is important to be prepared for winter weather before it strikes, so keep in mind the following tips:
- Things to keep in the trunk of your car: a snow shovel, snow chains and some rock salt or other environmentally safe products to melt ice and snow, just in case your car gets stuck in snow.
- Never pour hot water on the windshield for deicing - go for the old fashioned way: the ice scraper. The temperature difference between the hot water and your freezing car may crack your windshield.
- Keep your speed steady and drive below the speed limit when roads are icy or the threat of ice is imminent.
- Avoid slamming on the brakes and overcorrecting when you hit a patch of ice, instead, stay calm, gently turn the steering wheel in the direction you are sliding and lightly tap the brake.
- Keep open the curtains on south-facing windows and use lighter curtains on others to allow sunlight into your home, keeping you more warm and comfy.
- If you’re dealing with frozen water pipes, apply heat slowly, beginning at the faucet and working your way to the coldest section of the pipe. Avoid using an electric heater to thaw frozen water pipes, as it may lead to electrocution if something goes wrong.
- Use a snow roof rake to clear snow off roof, instead of climbing yourself onto the roof and risking damaging the structure of the roof and falling off.
- Regularly clean your house's gutters. This will not only promote good drainage, but also help prevent ice damming. Ice damming occurs when water gets trapped and freezes when the temperatures drop.
- In case of a power outage, avoid using kerosene heaters or any heating device you may use while camping or barbecuing, or you may risk Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning.
- Always remember to wear sunglasses during winter, bright sunshine reflecting off of snow can cause macular degeneration and even contribute to age-related eye disease.
- Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen on your face and other exposed areas before going outside.
- Always wear gloves when working or playing outside to prevent frostbite, itchy, dry and cracked skin.
- When temperatures go down, use multiple clothing layers preferably made of wool or synthetic materials, such as polypropylene. Cotton can lead to hypothermia, especially after it gets wet.
But after all, don’t forget to also enjoy the winter magic!
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