Winter Survival Tips

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Winter Survival Tips

If your flashlight batteries stop working in the cold, warm them up before using them. Batteries don't discharge as well until warmed up, so hold them in your hand near a heat source.

Keep hand warmers in your vehicle and camping supplies. Hand warmers are an inexpensive way to quickly warm up. You can also use them to warm up your boots before you put them on.

Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing. Layers allow [you to remove a layer at a time as you warm up. Always wear gloves and hat (preferably one that covers your ears)

Keep your feet warm and your entire body will stay warmer longer. Waterproof insulated boots are your best bet this time of year. Also make sure they have good tread so that you can keep your footing on snow & ice.

Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack which is a major cause of death in winter. Make sure you stretch before going outside to shovel.

Cover your mouth. Protect your lungs from extremely cold air by covering your mouth when outdoors.

Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.

Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. Stay fed and well hydrated. Starvation and dehydration can worsen your situation in a subzero weather. When your body is trying to cope with the stress that the cold temperature brings, it uses more energy to produce heat. Make sure your heart rate doesn’t drop too low. When your body gets cold, your heart rate tends to slow down. This means bad news because slowing down of the heart rate means that there is less blood pumping through your veins, and less heat traveling throughout your body. Keep moving. It is important not to sit still. Body temperature drops more quickly and blood flow decreases. By elevating your heart rate, blood will keep flowing to your extremities building body heat in the process. You do not want to over do it to the point where you start to sweat, because this will create moisture, and which will in turn lower your body temperature. With that in mind, do chores and necessary things at a moderate pace. If you begin to perspire, remove a layer of clothing to where you are still warm, but not hot. Slow down your pace until you recover a comfortable body temperature.

Always carry a WINTER SURVIVAL KIT in your vehicle. In an emergency, it could save your life and the lives of your passengers. Here is a list of things it should include.
• a shovel
• windshield scraper and small broom
• flashlight with extra batteries
• battery powered radio
• water
• snack food including energy bars
• raisins and mini candy bars
• matches and small candles
• extra hats, socks and mittens
• First aid kit with pocket knife
• Necessary medications
• blankets or sleeping bag
• tow chain or rope
• road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
• booster cables
• emergency flares and reflectors
• fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
• Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter