Much of the country is experiencing record cold right now. Severe cold snaps aren’t just uncomfortable and inconvenient; they can be deadly. If you live in an area prone to such severe cold, there are some things you can do to prepare when dangerously low temperatures are forecast for your area.
The most important thing to do is to stay inside as much as possible! Check on neighbors and relatives, especially those who are elderly or unwell, and make sure they’re warm. If you see homeless people on the street, offer them a ride to the nearest shelter or heating center. If they decline, offer to bring them some warm blankets, mittens, a hat, winter coat and perhaps a thermos of hot coffee or soup. Every year cold snaps claim the lives of many homeless people who literally freeze to death on the streets. Do what you can to help prevent it.
Your car should be stocked with blankets, deicer, an ice scraper and extra water. If you break down during dangerously cold weather, stay in your car and run the heat every so often (this conserves fuel) but always have the windows cracked open! Doing this could save your life should carbon monoxide build up inside your car. To further prevent this, if there is a heavy snow cover, get out every 45 minutes or so and make sure your tailpipe is not clogged with snow. Keep the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning in mind: headache, nausea, drowsiness and irritability. If you start to experience any of them, turn off the car, open the windows wide and call 911. If you experience any of these symptoms in your home, turn off the furnace and and any gas fireplaces or stoves, open the windows and call 911.
If you live in an area prone to severe cold (or severe weather of any type) a generator is a smart investment. Having one can keep you warm and life going on as normal during power outages. To get started, check out http://www.grastengenerators.com/. If you already have one, make sure to get it inspected regularly and do any needed repairs promptly. Don’t use a generator that doesn’t sound right or is otherwise showing signs of a problem, and never ever use a generator designed for outdoor use indoors. Doing so could cause a fire or a dangerous build up of carbon dioxide. Use common sense and stay warm!