Tips On How To Stay Warm In A Blizzard And Survive
Even though any weather system characterized by strong winds, ice, snow and below freezing temperatures is considered to be a huge safety hazard, blizzards are seen as one of the most dangerous types of winter storms. In addition to creating risky driving conditions, a blizzard can also cause people to not know where they are as the stormy conditions often cause disorientation for anyone walking or driving around. For anyone stuck outside, the cold temperatures and strong winds can lead to dangerous wind chills which can cause frostbite and hypothermia.

Continue reading below for a breakdown of useful tips on how to stay warm and survive in a blizzard.

What Is A Blizzard?

In a nutshell, a blizzard can be described as a storm that is characterized by strong winds greater than 56kph (35mph), huge amounts of blowing or falling snow and visibility over less than 0.4km (a quarter mile). These conditions must last for at least 3 hours, for the storm to qualify as a blizzard. A storm in which snow that has already fallen to the ground is kicked back up by strong winds is normally referred to as a ground blizzard.

Ways To Stay Warm In A Blizzard

Now that you have a clear idea of what a blizzard is, here are a few tips to help you stay warm if you find yourself in one:

Prepare In Advance

Start by determining how much danger you are in. Theoretically, blizzards can occur anywhere across the US, except for Hawaii, coastal California and the Gulf Coast. These storms are common in the Great Plains and Upper Mid West regions of the US. If you live in any of the blizzard prone parts of the country, take some time to come up with a blizzard emergency kit.

The emergency kit, which should be kept in an easily accessible part of your house, should contain a variety of supplies that will help you get through a few cold days without electricity. Some common contents of the kit include, first aid kit, water and non-perishable foods that don’t require preparation, hand-crank or battery powered radio, flashlight with extra batteries, local maps, whistle to call for help and extra clothing and blankets among others.

In addition to the above, be sure to keep up with current weather forecasts so as to be well informed of any incoming storms.

If You Are Caught Indoors

One of the safest things you can do during a blizzard is to stay at home. With that in mind, you should avoid going outdoors during the storm; make sure bring your pets indoors as well. To make sure that your home is warm enough in case of a blackout, crank up the heat in your house as the storm approaches.

Staying in one room of the house can go a long way towards conserving heat for longer. Remember to wear layered clothing and stuff towels under doors to stay warm. Windows should be covered at night and left open during the day to catch any heat from the sunlight.

If Caught In Your Car

Being trapped in your car during a blizzard is dangerous, but there are ways of surviving this ordeal. Find a safe place to park your car and find ways of alerting other road users of your presence, like lighting flares. Remember to keep the exhaust pipe clear to prevent any carbon monoxide build up. To keep warm, run your car for about 10 to 20 minutes every hour.

You should avoid leaving your car at all costs during the blizzard, unless you are lighting flares or clearing the exhaust pipe. last but not least, do some light exercises while in the car and stay hydrated.

If Your Are Caught Outside

The most dangerous place to be during a blizzard is outside. If the storm catches you outside, seek shelter as soon as possible. Use your mobile phone to call for help – you can call loved ones or emergency services. To conserve battery power, consider keeping your phone turned off when not in use. You should also do some non-strenuous exercises to keep warm and stay hydrated as you wait for help.

Final Thoughts

With the above tips in mind, you should be able to start warm in a blizzard, whether you are at home, trapped in your car or caught outside by the storm.
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