If you live in one of the 22 states under a blizzard warning, you might be wondering how to cope with the winter storm that is sweeping across the US. The snow storm has already dumped snow, ice, and rain on millions of people, causing power outages, road closures, and flight cancellations.
In this article, we will give you some tips on how to stay safe and warm during this extreme weather event, as well as some fun activities to do indoors while you wait for the blizzard to pass. Read on to find out more about the blizzard warning and what it means for you.
How to Stay Warm and Safe During a Blizzard
If a blizzard warning is issued, it is advised to remain indoors and avoid unnecessary travel. Blizzards can bring extremely low temperatures, reduced visibility, and power outages which can pose a threat to your safety. Here are some guidelines for staying warm and secure during a blizzard:
Dress in Layers
It is recommended to wear multiple layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing to trap warm air and provide insulation. It is important to avoid cotton as it can become wet and lose its insulating abilities. Instead, choose wool, fleece, or synthetic fabrics. Additionally, it is important to wear a hat, gloves, scarf, and warm socks to protect your extremities from frostbite.
Keep a Flashlight and a Radio Handy
In case of a power outage, you will need a flashlight to see and a battery-powered or hand-crank radio to get updates on the weather and emergency information3. Avoid using candles, which can cause a fire hazard. Also, make sure you have extra batteries for your devices.
Use Alternative Heating Sources Safely
If you have a fireplace, wood stove, or kerosene heater, you can use them to provide some warmth during a blizzard. It is important to adhere to the instructions provided by the manufacturer and to keep heating sources away from flammable materials.
It is also recommended to have a carbon monoxide detector and a fire extinguisher in one’s home, as these heating sources may emit dangerous fumes and sparks. It is advised not to use a gas stove, oven, or grill for heating purposes, as this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or a fire hazard.
Eat and Drink Well
Eating and drinking can help you maintain your body temperature and energy levels during a blizzard. It is important to consume ample amounts of fluids, particularly water, to maintain hydration and avoid substances such as alcohol and caffeine that can lead to dehydration and decrease body temperature.
You should also eat high-calorie foods that can provide you with warmth and energy, such as nuts, dried fruits, chocolate, and soup. Avoid eating snow, which can lower your body temperature and contain bacteria or pollutants.
How to Prepare for a Blizzard Warning
The National Weather Service issues a blizzard warning when there is a forecast of heavy snowfall and strong winds that can result in hazardous conditions for a minimum of three hours.
This warning advises individuals to remain indoors and refrain from traveling unless it is unavoidable. If you live in one of the 22 states under a blizzard warning, you should take some steps to prepare for the snowstorm and its aftermath. Here are some things you can do:
- Check your emergency kit: You should have a well-stocked emergency kit that includes items such as water, food, a flashlight, a radio, batteries, a first aid kit, medications, blankets, and extra clothing. You should also have a car emergency kit if you have to drive in the snow.
- Charge your devices: You should charge your phone, laptop, and other devices before the storm hits, in case you lose power or need to communicate with others. You should also have a backup power source, such as a portable charger or a generator.
- Clear your driveway and sidewalks: You should shovel or plow your driveway and sidewalks before the snow accumulates too much, to make it easier to remove later and to prevent ice from forming. You should also clear the snow from your roof, gutters, and vents to prevent damage or leaks.
- Stay informed: You must stay informed about weather and road conditions by regularly listening to radio broadcasts, watching television updates, or checking online sources. Additionally, it is important to adhere to any instructions or warnings issued by local authorities and emergency services.
Fun Activities to Do Indoors During a Blizzard
If you are stuck inside when a blizzard warning is issued, you might feel bored or restless after a while. However, there are many fun activities that you can do indoors to keep yourself and your family entertained. Here are some ideas to try:
- Indoor Ice Skating: You can make your own ice skates by attaching wax paper to your shoes with rubber bands. Then, slide around on a smooth floor and pretend you are on an ice rink.
- Balloon Volleyball: All you need for this game is a balloon and a string. Tie the string across a room to make a net, and then hit the balloon back and forth with your hands. Try not to let the balloon touch the ground or the string.
- Build a Fort: Use blankets, pillows, chairs, and other furniture to create a cozy fort in your living room. You can decorate it with lights, stuffed animals, and books. Then, curl up inside and enjoy your private hideout.
- Edible Winter Forest: Make a tasty snack by arranging pretzel sticks, marshmallows, and chocolate chips on a plate. Next, place the chocolate in a microwave and heat for a few seconds until it has melted. You can use the pretzels as tree trunks, the marshmallows as snow, and the chocolate chips as animals or ornaments.
- Do Some Modern Art: Unleash your creativity by making some abstract art with paint, paper, and tape. You can use tape to create geometric shapes on the paper, and then fill them in with different colors of paint. Peel off the tape when the paint is dry and admire your masterpiece.
It is important to take necessary precautions and stay safe during a blizzard warning by dressing appropriately, having essential supplies, and staying informed about the weather conditions.
Participating in enjoyable indoor activities can help occupy one’s time and maintain a positive attitude during the storm. Stay safe and enjoy the winter wonderland from the comfort of your home.