Winter affects the body in more ways than just making it cold. Chapped lips may be an indicator of dehydration, says Active Beat, so be sure to consume just as much water as you would on a hot summer day. Also moisturize regularly to protect against the cold, dry winds of winter and bundle up to limit exposure to cold temperatures. To head off the winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the site suggests, try to find a way to get out in the sun or get a light box. And regular exercise will greatly improve your mood and energy while strengthening your immune system. #WinterTips
Winter storm Isaiah hit hit multiple areas of the country with snow and ice over the weekend. The National Weather Service calls storms like this “deceptive killers” because most deaths are related indirectly to the storm itself. If your area is under a winter storm watch or warning, Weather Underground says, make sure you have rock salt or deicer, snow shovels, heating fuel, and adequate clothing and blankets. If signs of frostbite (loss of feeling and pale appearance in extremities) or hypothermia (shivering, memory loss, drowsiness and exhaustion) are apparent, seek medical help immediately. #WinterTips
If you must go outdoors in extreme winter conditions, the Centers for Disease Control says, dress for the weather. Appropriate outdoor clothing includes layers of light, warm clothing; windproof coats, mittens, hats and scarves; and waterproof boots (all of which can be found at thrift stores supplied by ClothingDonations.org). Take a buddy if you plan on any outdoor recreation. If you must travel, let people know your route and estimated time of arrival, and if you are stranded in your car, make it visible to rescuers. Stay with the car unless safety is less than 100 yards away, and run the motor and heater for 10 minutes per hour, opening a window slightly to let in fresh air. #WinterTips
Winter storms substantially increase the risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning and heart attacks, says Ready.gov. If your area is under a winter storm warning, stay off the roads, stay indoors as much as possible, and prepare for power outages due to snow and ice. Stock up on essentials including nonperishable foods, water, batteries, pet supplies and medications in case you lose power and must stay home for several days. Avoid overexertion if you need to shovel snow, and check on neighbors — older adults and children are more at risk in extreme cold. #WinterTips
Many areas across the country are experiencing a fast end to the manageably crisp fall temperatures they usually enjoy, going from jacket weather to parka-and-longjohns overnight. Many areas that could expect highs to hover in the 50s are experiencing record-breaking lows; some already have a blanket of snow on the ground and below-zero wind chills.
The abrupt transition from seasonably cool to fantastically frigid likely took many readers (and this author) by surprise. Their best winter garments are probably still in storage or at the cleaners, leaving them to cobble together layered outfits to brave the cold or simply huddle indoors until the sudden cold snap passes.
If you haven’t yet bundled up, now’s a good time to start. Many retailers have announced Black Friday deals well ahead of the actual day, so you can buy yourself that new coat, sweater or blanket at a discount. Better still, you can find lightly used garments at area thrift stores supplied by ClothingDonations.org a fraction of their original retail prices.
Once you’ve got yourself covered, you’ll want to prepare for the worst. Winter storms could trap you inside for days, so make sure you have a good snow shovel and plenty of food and drinking water on hand, Simple Family Preparedness says. Stock up on wood for the fireplace and salt or sand for the sidewalks.
If an extended deep freeze is on the way, fill your gas tank to prevent fuel line freezes. Charge cell phones and fuel backup generators. Weather-strip drafty windows and doors. And refamiliarize yourself with the location of your home’s main water valve in case the pipes freeze and burst.
Most home winterization tasks are a matter of keeping snow, ice and prolonged below-zero temperatures from ruining the equipment that keeps your home climate-controlled in the first place. “Proper winterization involves a systematic review of your home’s HVAC equipment, as well as the critical structural and mechanical systems,” The Spruce says.
Check the furnace and replace filters. Cover your central air conditioning unit to prevent debris from getting in it. Inspect and clean the chimney and insulate exposed pipes against freezes. It’s a lot to get done — but once you do, you can ride out the cold winter months in calm and comfort. Get started before it’s too late!