Updated: Mar 2
Keeping warm as winter temperatures plummet can be a challenge, here are some tips:
Dress like a solider
According to the Army Public Health Center, "Cold weather-related injuries like hypothermia, frostbite, and nonfreezing cold injuries (which we'll discuss later) are major concerns, When dressing to go out in the elements think COLD:
Keep it Clean
Wear it Loose and in Layers
Keep it Dry
Start with underwear and a t-shirt (women forgo the bra because it constricts), add long johns, sweats, or PJs, followed by regular clothing to include a long sleeve shirt, pants (avoid jeans and other fabric that may not dry out quickly) and wool socks, then the outer layer waterproof pants, coat with hood, hat (a majority of your body heat escapes through your head), scarf, and waterproof gloves and boots (fingers and toes are the first things to get frostbite).
Think like a Boy Scout
The Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared". Upon learning about extreme weather everyone seems to be in a mad dash to the store. You don't have to be part of the circus if you think ahead. According to the CDC, you should be preparing for anything winter can throw out at you from frozen pipes to surviving a power outage. If you are reading this listicle while snow is falling consider it an opportunity to assess what you have right now. Here's the list to get you started.
Be a Kid
In an effort to reduce the stress on the power grid local utilities will ask all customers to reduce their electric and natural gas consumption. In order to converse energy the National Weather Service suggests you close off as many rooms as possible. If you have kids this doesn't have to be a challenge. The trick is to make it fun. Play board games in the kitchen while cookies are baking in the oven, roast hot dogs in the fireplace (or over a gas stove in the kitchen with a fork) while telling scary stories or anything else that brings the family together in one room. If you have central heating have the kids build a pillow fort over a vent. This will allow the heat to warm up the fort and keep the kids toasty warm even though you reduced the thermostat. Note: do not use space heaters or heating lamps when doing this trick it is a fire hazard.
Avoid Nonfreezing Cold Injuries
Staying warm becomes very critical if local utilities opt to enact roving blackouts. When this happens people get very creative. One of the things some people may be tempted to do is bring in the gas/charcoal grill this is not only a fire hazard but it can also expose you to carbon monoxide. Sitting in a garaged or ungaraged car while the engine is running can also expose you to carbon monoxide. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are:
shortness of breath
lack of breathing
nausea and vomiting
Don't Hog the Covers
Sharing the covers with your best friend on a cold night is awesome!
Sources: https://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/discond/cip/Pages/Cold-Weather-Casualties-and-Injuries.aspx#:~:text=Remember%20the%20acronym%20COLD%3A,it%20Loose%20and%20in%20Layers https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/winterweather/index.html#:~:text=Prepare%20Your%20Vehicle,the%20tank%20and%20fuel%20lines. https://www.weather.gov/wrn/infographics_winter https://health.mo.gov/living/environment/carbonmonoxide/