Snow Bound At Home
Would you be able to survive being snow bound at home? Most Americans live in a world where we have power, water, heat and lights. All the niceties of a comfortable life, available at the flip of a switch. This comfortable lifestyle can be lost easier than many of us wish to imagine. For the purposes of this article, let’s look at what can happen if a severe snowstorm dumps a few feet of snow on top of you and your family. How would you survive the ordeal until life returns to normal?
A snowstorm or ice storm can shut things down fast, usually without much warning. One of the first things we tend to lose is the power. It does not take much for power lines to fail, and when they do, entire areas can be thrown back into the dark ages. When the power fails, lights go out, many types of phones go out, the heat goes off if we have electric heaters. The list goes on and on. In some areas, if the power goes out, the water pumps stop working, and you may be without water as well.
So, what can you do if you live in a home that has lost all power, communication, and possibly water? A winter storm might just kill you and your family if you do not take precautions.
How many times have we heard this bit of advice, and yet how many homes are ready to endure this type of emergency? Not many, if the truth is told. At a minimum, you should have on hand:
- Bottled Water
- Canned or Packaged Food
- Kerosene Heater and Fuel
- Flashlights, Batteries
- Battery or Solar-Powered Radio
It cannot be said enough that the better prepared you are for a cold-weather emergency, the safer and more comfortable you will be. However, if you do not have what you need, you can still survive this type of emergency. Here are some tips.
First, don’t panic. For some people, this is easier said than done. However, keeping a cool head (no pun intended) is crucial as it prevents people from making bad mistakes.
Second, if you know the power will be out for an extended period, check in with your neighbors (if you have any). You may need their help, and they may need your help. It is best to make contact as soon as safely possible.
Third, if you have no heat at all (no fireplace, heater, etc.), you need to get busy right away preparing a safe place. Find the smallest room you have in the house and make it your bunker. This is where you want all people in the house to gather, even if it is a walk-in closet. If you have candles, use those to beat back the cold. They may not make you warm and toasty, but they can be useful in providing enough heat (in a small space) to keep you alive.
Fourth, bundle yourself and family in layers of warm clothing. The layering principle is important, so make sure you do it.
If you need water, the water in the back of your toilet is usually safe to drink. You don’t have to tell your family where you got it!
Use your vehicle’s heater for periodic heating, but make sure you keep the interior ventilated. If weather and safety allow, build a fire in your yard to help keep warm, but make sure someone monitors it.
Lastly, keep moving and avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration, and it can draw heat from your body. When you drink, it dilates the peripheral blood vessels near your skin. This means more blood and heat flows to these vessels. That takes blood and much-needed heat away from the core of your body. Although it feels like you are warm because your skin is warm, your vital organs are not as warm as you might think they are.