Cold Weather Preparedness

Olivia Gaetano, Reporter

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“If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm,” Frank Lane.


During the winter months, being prepared is one of the only surefire ways to combat our city’s sporadic weather patterns. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Red Cross and Chevrolet, these are ways to prepare different aspects of your life.


Personal Health

One’s personal health is one of the most important aspects to consider during the winter months. However, it is often overlooked as other concerns take priority. Here are easy ways to prioritize your personal health this season.

  • When dressing warm, wear loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Layers can be removed to prevent perspiration and chill. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellant. Mittens are warmer than gloves because fingers generate warmth when they touch each other.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of it’s insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  • If the flu shot is something you consider, make sure you get it early on and do your research on this year’s strain.
  • Wash your hands. No matter whether or not you get the flu shot, germs are a seasonal commodity, so make sure to keep clean.
  • Move more. Physical activity keeps blood flowing and your body warm.
  • Get enough sleep. Giving time for your body to recharge is one of the easiest ways to be prepared for the next day’s weather mayham.


Home Maintenance

No matter if the damage is large or small, obvious or obscure, your home is affected by the weather. Here are ways to keep your home, inside and out, in mind this season.

  • Lower the thermostat to 65 degrees during the day and 55 degrees at night. Close off unused rooms. This preserves and conserves heat.
  • If pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
  • Listen to the radio or television to get the latest information.
  • Residents need to be extra careful when using supplemental heating units. Make sure that all-combustible materials such as drapes or chairs are at least three feet away from any heating unit. Avoid using flammable liquids to start fireplaces and do not leave a fireplace unattended. Most importantly, check your smoke detector to make sure it is working properly.


Transportation Preparedness

Transportation is one of the more pressing concerns during the winter months. Many people worry about how they can get to important places like work and/or school. Here are ways to ease some of that worry this season.

  • Consider keeping an emergency kit in your car. You’ll obviously want a spare tire and the tools to change out a flat, bottles of engine oil, washer fluid, coolant, and an ice scraper. An extra pair of gloves, boots or even a blanket if you want to be extra cautious.
  • Check your battery.
  • Check your tire pressure and consider snow tires. Wet or icy roads can cause dangerous accidents in the winter, so it’s very important to make sure your tires are equipped to handle adverse weather conditions.
  • Check your defrosting and heating units.
  • Replace windshield wipers and wiper fluid.


Pet Safety

Most times animals are forgotten about during the colder months, because people think that since they have fur coats they can handle harsher weather, but that isn’t necessarily true. Here are ways to keep your pets safe this season.

  • No Damp Tramps
    • If you use a garment like a dog sweater, always make sure it stays dry and change it if becomes damp. Wet clothing can actually make it get colder. Make sure to clean up antifreeze spills. The sweet smell and taste attracts animals, but it it highly lethal. Wipe down after winter walks, use a towel to remove salt or antifreeze from their paws, legs and bellies.
  • Get a Checkup
    • Bring your pet in for an exam. Cold weather can exacerbate health issues, so getting a checkup is important even for pets that seem healthy.
  • Cats Love Cars
    • Cats are attracted to the warmth of cars, so make sure to always tap on the hood/honk your horn to alert any sleeping animals that could be injured when the car starts.
  • Microchips
    • Snow can affect a pet’s sense of smell and ability to find their way, so microchip your pet and give them an identification tag so they can be returned to you.
  • Emergency
    • Cold weather can also result in some emergency situations like power outage. Make sure you have an emergency plan for your family that includes your pet.


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Cold Weather Preparedness