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Surviving a Bad Winter and the Extreme Cold

Updated on April 9, 2012

Severe Winter Storms

Winter storms can be deadly. Knowing how to get through one can save your life and the lives of those you love.
Winter storms can be deadly. Knowing how to get through one can save your life and the lives of those you love.

Winter Storms and Extreme Cold, Will You Be Ready?

By: Cow Flipper

The wind howls outside your window and the snow is blanketing the landscape as it blows sideways at stinging speeds. Heavy snow can halt the activity of entire parts of a nation. It cripples transportation of all types halting fuel and food deliveries. It can knock out power and leave hundreds of thousands stranded and cut off from the world. Even areas not known for bad winter weather will once in a while get hit by large ice storms. Being prepared is the only way to combat old man winter and his wicked cold bite.

Line of Cars Stuck in the Snow


Be Prepared

The old boyscout creed is true, being prepared will save your life. Read the following guide and you should be ready for any major problem you may encounter.

The following bulletined facts are suggestions on how to be prepared for an ice storm.

  • Learn something about the weather forecasting and the terms used by weather forecasters.
  • Make sure you have enough heating fuel or wood in your home or in an area that is dry and accessible to you, you should have enough to last you up to three days or more.
  • Always have a secondary heat source, an outside clay stove or you can always convert a washing machine drum into a hobo-heater.
  • Keep rock salt so you can use it to melt the ice on your walkways outside.
  • Insulate your walls and attic.
  • Caulk your windows or weather strip them.
  • Have double paned windows, or have plastic sheeting over your windows.
  • Winterize your vehicle by using antifreeze, checking tire pressure, having chains in your vehicle, getting a tune up and your fluids changed, having jumper cables, flares, reflective or bright colored rag or ribbon, emergency kit, blankets, extra clothes, water, a small shovel, a whistle, and a radio with batteries.


Frozen Power-lines


What to Do During a Winter Storm

  • Listen to the radio or watch the news for local weather reports and emergency information.Wat
  • Wear multiple layers of loose fitting light but warm clothing. Do not use one layer of heavy clothing.
  • Wear mittens not gloves.
  • Wear head-wear like a hat, a beanie, or hood. Most of your body heat is lost through the top of the head.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite.
  • Watch for signs of Hypothermia.
  • Always watch how much fuel you are using to make sure you have enough to last you through the storm.
  • If you must travel try to use public transportation if possible.

What to do if you car is stuck in a blizzard?

Most people die from exposure by leaving the safetly of their vehicle.

  • Remain in your vehicle until you are found.
  • Use a flag on your antenna as a distress marker.
  • Use flares if you have them.

When Caught in Your Car During a Blizzard

  • Pull off the road or highway if it is safe to do so and turn on your hazard lights. Hang a bright piece of cloth from your vehicles radio antenna. The flag is a sign of distress to emergency personnel.
  • Run the engine and heater every hour for ten minutes to keep warm. While the engine runs crack the window. Try to keep the car or trucks exhaust clear of snow and debris.
  • Stay with your vehicle. Do not try to leave your vehicle to get help. Wait until you are found.
  • Exercise lightly if you can to maintain your body heat. Huddle with passengers to stay warm.
  • Take turns sleeping if you have a passenger.
  • Don't run the car battery down listening to the radio. Listen to the radio when you start your vehicle for ten minutes to see if you hear any news about the blizzard or a search for you.
  • If stranded in the mountains or woods spread a large cloth over the snow to attract the attention of rescue personnel.
  • Once the storm has passed, you may leave the vehicle and head off on foot but only if you know where you are going and are sure that you can make it safely to your destination. It is always best to wait for help.

In Conclusion

The keys to surviving an ice storm or blizzard is to stay inside, stay warm, have fuel for heat, and have supplies on hand. Knowing what to do will keep you and your family safe. Remember that no matter what and no matter what the emergency the best thing you can do is remain calm and be prepared. Thanks for reading my hub and good luck.


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    • Cow Flipper profile image

      Sean Jankowski 5 years ago from Southern Oregon

      Thank you so much GoodLady. This is information I've learned by reaching out to my county and local disaster relief teams. I have friends in the military that have also helped with the information I write about on here concerning preparing for disasters and extreme distress.

      I can't wait to work with you as well. :)

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      This is phenomenally helpful. Being stuck in a snow storm is horrendous and until now I did not really know how to handle it. Bless.

      Looking forward to knowing you more and more about Hub writing etc on the Hub Pages A Program.