Congratulations, folks! We’ve experienced the impossible. We can now claim to know what happens when hell freezes over. It probably feels like most part of the U.S. right now. Bitterly cold.Utterly dreary. Dreadfully still. Painfully lifeless!
The country is battling with one of the worst cold waves to hit North America in decades. The cold has been described as life threatening. Thousands of flights have been canceled. Schools and churches have closed down. Temperatures have dipped to -51C. Some parts of the country are colder than even South Pole and Siberia. People have been warned to stay indoors and keep warm.
The administration is doing everything it can to minimize the impact of this extreme weather and make sure things return to normal soon, but the question to ask is how prepared are you to protect yourself and your loved ones from this “polar vortex?”
Here are some tips to stay safe in this freakishly cold winter:
Stay indoors and sit tight. There can be nothing so urgent that is worth putting your life at risk. Hypothermia and frostbite are real dangers during these chilly conditions and you don’t want to expose yourself to the possibility.
Stock up on food and beverages. You don’t want to step outside your house because you ran out of groceries. Even if you decide to brave it, there are very little chances of finding a grocery store open during these extreme weather conditions. So, make sure your pantry is full and you have enough pet food in store to survive the worst of the cold wave.
Make sure you’ve cleared all your utility bills. The last thing you want is your power cut off in the middle of a freezing situation.
Get ready with a first-aid kit. You should have a steady supply of all your prescription drugs and frequently used over the counter medicines. Make sure you have adequate amount of bandages and ointments to treat light cuts and burns. The American Red Cross recommends these items to be included in a first-aid kit.
Have a stash of emergency supplies handy in case there’s a power outage. Typically, your emergency supplies should include a flashlight, extra set of batteries, kerosene heater, coolers to keep food fresh, and sleeping bags with blankets.
Make sure you’re dressed in multiple layers. Wear gloves, hats, ear muffs, scarves and comfortable wooly socks to cover parts of your body that are typically exposed. Look out for signs of frostbite on your fingers and toes.
As cold as we feel, children tend to feel a degree or so colder than us. So, make sure they have an additional layer of clothing on them than what you’re dressed in. Also, prefer mittens over gloves and thermal or woolen clothing instead of light cotton to keep them warm.
Have hot food and drinks. I know a hot cocoa never sounded more delicious, but it almost becomes a necessity during frigid temperatures. Instead of cold sandwiches or salads, prefer warm soups and freshly cooked hotmeals to fight the cold.
Keep your emergency contacts close to you. If you don’t have a fixed line, make sure your cellphone always has adequate charge.
Such extreme weather conditions can be unpredictable. You don’t know what situation you may find yourself in, so it’s good to ensure that the premiums of your life, health, car, and home insurance policies are updated.
Don’t and I repeat, don’t hesitate to dial 911 in case of an emergency.
These are just a few tips that might get you through the worst of the cold wave. But after the snow has subsided, the chilly winds have packed up and left, and temperatures have risen to normal levels once again, there will be the humongous task of putting back together the pieces of your life.
For the municipalities of your community, one of the biggest challenges would be clearing the copious amount of snow that fell during this time. They may not have sufficient budget to undertake the task or could have completely miscalculated the effort/money required. You can read more about how snow insurance is calculated based on average snowfall in your area on AccuQuote.
For you, the biggest challenge would be to put the trauma of the cold wave behind you and learn to find beauty in snow again!