Six Tips to Help You Survive Winter

    It’s COLD! Here are some tips to help you make it through the winter. No doubt you’ve already thought of most of them. Be safe and take plenty of precautions during the colder months. Proper preparation can help you avoid the potential treacherious downfalls of winter weather havoc. We can do this!

    LAYER YOUR CLOTHING

    Layers of loose-fitting clothing will trap your natural body heat. The best start is with an insulating inner layer and an outer layer that is resistant to wind and water. The less body area exposed, the warmer you’ll feel. If your clothing gets wet, it will lose much or most of its protection, carrying body heat away instead of holding it in. Even the warmest down-filled garment is ineffective when wet.

    In a study of people in eastern Siberia, British scientists found that they typically wear four or more layers of clothing, usually made of fur or other thick material. Those Siberians generally don’t feel the effects of cold temperatures until they drop to below minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

    PROTECT YOUR EXTREMITIES

    Cover up ears with hats or earmuffs; keep your neck and chest warm with scarves; when the wind blows, put your scarf across your face. Mittens are warmer than gloves, especially if fur-lined or heated with rechargeable batteries.

    Lined, waterproof boots may be rated by temperature; consider battery-hated socks and insoles. Some warm-looking boots are toasty when dry but not waterproof. Slip-resistant soles will help to prevent falls.

    SAFEGUARD YOUR HEALTH

    Get an annual flu shot to prevent serious infections. Pneumonia vaccines are available for those over 65. Stay hydrated and eat well. Wash your hands often.

    PREPARE YOUR HOME

    Sufficient insulation in the roof, walls, window sashes, and doorframes will reduce drafts and lower heating costs. Depending on the age and health of your home’s occupants, keep your thermostat set at a comfortable temperature during the day – between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit (72 on average). Remember that older adults and babies may be easily chilled.

    If you wear warmer clothing indoors, you can save considerable money with a lower thermostat setting. Sit less and move more to generate body heat. Wear warm pajamas and use extra blankets or quilts so you can lower your thermostat at night to about 60 degrees. In winter, you may love flannel sheets.

    PREVENT FIRES

    Fire can be a major winter hazard and is usually avoidable. All homes should have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Never, ever use the stove or oven for heat. A well-designed portable space heater may be a good investment; use it safely, away from pets and young children. The data from the National Fire Protection Association reports that 40% of home heating fires and 84% percent of resulting deaths involve portable or stationary space heaters. Choose only those models that shut off immediately if tipped over; use them only on a hard, level, nonflammable surfaces. When going to bed, turn off all space heaters. Only electric heaters are safe to use unvented indoors. When using a fireplace, always protect it with a well-fitted screen to prevent embers and sparks from escaping into the room.

    Avoid using extension cords if at all possible; extension cords are a frequent cause of house fires. If cords are needed, check that they are modern, not frayed, and are rated for the intended device. Never use an extension cord to power a heater or more than one device. If possible, install additional wall outlets.

    DRIVE SAFELY

    It’s important to have your vehicle winter-ready: good battery, antifreeze in the radiator, working windshield wipers, tires with good treads that are properly inflated, and plenty of no-freeze window washer fluid.

    Plan ahead for an unforeseen emergency with a fully-charged cell phone, a working flashlight, ice scraper, small shovel, snow brush, flares, one or more blankets, drinking water, and snacks in your car.

    If possible, practice driving on snow and ice in a safe area and learn to steer into a skid. If you must be on the road in bad weather, try to be well-rested and plan to stop in a rest area. Stop, get out and walk around at least once every three hours.

    Never leave your car idling with windows closed or while you doze. Consider having a cup of caffeinated coffee or tea. Consider road conditions and drive at appropriate speeds and distances from other vehicles. Stopping takes longer on snow, ice, and water-covered ice.

    Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/26/well/7-tips-for-making-it-through-the-winter.html

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