Blizzard Safety Tips That Can Save Your Life

Knowing how to survive a blizzard is a great skillset to have. While hopefully you’ll never have to use it, having the knowledge is super-important. There are many different types of winter storms, each of which is deadly in their own way. Interestingly, men are more likely to die in a winter storm than a woman (Source: About.com). So if you’re a man, make sure to take notes! On a serious know, blizzard safety tips should be known by everyone. Imagine being stranded in your vehicle during a blizzard. Would you know how to get out alive? If not, keep reading.

If You’re Stuck Outside

Blizzard Safety TipsSeek shelter immediately. It doesn’t really matter what kind of shelter. The point is that you need to reduce your exposure to the blowing winds. Otherwise, your core body temperatures will drop to dangerously low levels.

For every minute that you spend in the cold, you increase your risk of hypothermia and frostbite that much more. Another one of the obvious blizzard safety tips to remember is to get dry (if you’re wet). It’s recommended that you remove all wet clothing and then sit in front of the fire. Never sit in front of a fire with your wet clothes on (it can lead to hypothermia). Remember that deep snow can actually serve you. Specifically, you can use it as insulation from the cold temperatures by digging out a small snow cave. Blizzard safety tips like this one are super-important to remember.

Staying Hydrated
Do NOT eat snow to stay hydrated. This will cause you to fall deeper into a dehydration state. It’s better to place the snow in a container (like a water bottle) and allow it to melt first. Once it’s completely melted, then it’s safe to drink. Additionally, bacteria can accumulate on ground snow if it’s been there for a while. If it looks dirty or contaminated, then stay away.

If You’re Stuck in a Vehicle

Blizzard Safety TipsIf you’re stuck in a vehicle, then don’t leave it. The vehicle is the only thing protecting you from the elements. Blizzard safety tips suggest that you run your car for short periods to generate heat.

However, make sure that you crack a window to circulate fresh air (dangerous exhaust fumes like carbon monoxide can quickly build up inside and kill you). Cracking your window with your car on is especially important if your tailpipe is buried beneath the snow. Secondly, make sure that you keep moving. This is one of those blizzard safety tips that people tend to forget.

By keeping your blood flowing, you’ll stay warmer. Even if there’s not much space in your vehicle, you can still do it. For example, you can stomp your feet, clap your hands, or do pushups (this last one might be a little harder). The key is to keep moving so that you can circulate your blood. Plus, by doing this, it will help you stay focused on survival rather than panic. Finally, make sure that your vehicle can easily be seen by a rescue team. How can you do this? Try hanging a brightly colored piece of clothing from your windows. Once the snow has stopped, you can even open your hood as distress signal.

If You’re Stuck at Home

Blizzard Safety TipsThis is perhaps the best place to be when you get stuck in a snow storm. If your electricity goes out, find an alternative form of heat (but use caution). For example, fireplaces can be very effective at keeping you warm, but they also require a lot of ventilation. Another one of the important blizzard safety tips to remember is to isolate your heat source from the rest of your home.

Make sure that there aren’t any air leaks in the room where your heat source is. During the day, keep your windows open (for warmth), and try to stay hydrated. Failing to drink enough water can make you susceptible to getting sick. Remember that blizzard safety tips apply to your pets as well. Any outdoor pet should be brought inside during a winter storm as they’ll most certainly die if they remain exposed to the elements.

Winter in the Wilderness: A Field Guide to Primitive Survival Skills

How to Make a Winter Survival Kit

The last thing I want to talk about is how to make a winter survival kit. This is one of the most important blizzard safety tips to remember. A properly setup kit can dramatically increase your chances of survival. Grab a pen and paper and write down what I’m about to show you. You’ll need:

  • A Shovel
  • A Flashlight w/ Extra Batteries
  • Water
  • Crank-Powered Radio
  • Energy/Protein Bars
  • Extra Mittens, Socks, and Hats
  • A Thermal Blanket
  • A First Aid Kit
  • Pocket Knife
  • Medications
  • Rope and/or Tow Chain
  • Emergency Flares
  • Car Cell Phone Adaptor

Ideally, it’s recommended that you create a winter survival kit for both your car and your own (since you’ll never know where you’ll be when something happens). If you have children, make sure they know where these kits are located, and teach them how to use the tools inside. If you live in an area that’s especially prone to blizzards, then building a kit like this is a must-do.

Blizzard Safety Tips – Bottom Line

If you’re going to survive a winter storm, you need to keep these blizzard safety tips in mind. Every tip that you ignore makes you more likely to slip up and possibly get killed. I hate to put it so bluntly, but this is your life at stake. While being at home is the best place to be during a winter storm, this doesn’t mean that you can’t survive in your vehicle or even outside. Keep the above tips in mind and you’ll do just fine.

Resources 

  1. Blizzard Survival Guide: These Tips Could Save Your Life (AccuWeather)
  2. Winter Storm Safety (Weather Wiz Kids)
  3. Winter Storm Preparedness (Red Cross)
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