- Dressing for cold weather:
- Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight clothing.
- Wear mittens instead of gloves.
- Wear a hat.
Remember that entrapped, insulating air, warmed by body heat is the best protection from the cold.
- Avoid Overexertion:
The strain from cold temperatures and heavy labor such as shoveling, pushing a car, or walking in deep snow may cause a Heart Attack in older and less physically fit individuals.
- Winterize Your Vehicle Early:
- Avoid automobile gas line freeze ups by keeping your tank greater than half full at all times.
- Make sure that your car has adequate antifreeze.
- Make sure that your tires have good traction and are inflated to the right pressure.
- Make sure that your heater and defroster work properly.
- Make sure that your battery is not more than 3 years old and that it can carry a full charge.
- Make sure that you have a good ice scraper.
- Carry a Winter-Survival Safety Kit in your vehicle:
- Bring along Blankets and a bright piece of cloth to tie on your antenna if you become stranded.
- Flashlight with spare batteries.
- Extra change of clothing to keep dry.
- Non-perishable foods such as candy bars, canned goods, or high calorie food like Power Bars.
- A can and waterproof matches (used to melt snow for drinking water).
- A compass, shovel and sand, tow rope, and jumper cables.
- Before traveling:
- Check the latest road conditions before you head out into Winter weather.
- Let someone know where you are going and when you think you will reach your destination.
- If you become stranded in your vehicle during a Winter storm:
- Stay in your car, truck, or minivan.
- Run the engine at 10 minute intervals for heat.
- Maintain proper ventilation by making sure the exhaust pipe is not plugged. Leave the windows open slightly to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Make yourself visible to rescuers. Tie a bright cloth to your antenna or door handle. Turn on the dome light at night, but only when running the engine.
- At home, do the following before Winter becomes a reality:
- Have your furnace checked before you need to use it.
- Seal any windows that you suspect allow cold air into the house with caulking or plastic.
- Include a home safety kit that includes extra non-perishable food, medicine, and a battery operated radio. Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy.
- Keep Candles and matches handy for extended periods of electrical loss.
- If you lose heat in your home:
- Seal off any unused rooms by stuffing Towels or rags in the cracks under the door.
- Cover the windows with Blankets or Sheets at night if you have some extras available.
- Use only devices that are designed for heating indoors during as emergency heat source and handle all safety precautions.
- Install and test smoke alarms in your home:
Have fire extinguishers checked to combat an accidental fire due to the use of alternative heat sources.
- Drink plenty of fluids:
Drink plenty of fluids such as tea, juice and water to keep the body hydrated. This allows for soft skin and well lubricated organs as well as helps the body from drying out in winter heat.
Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac - http://www.peacefulmind.com - Therapies for healing mind, body, spirit
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