Winter storms are no joke!


I don’t mean to gloat because I was fortunate enough to get stuck in Atlanta, GA during Winter Storm Nemo.  And even though I’m still in Georgia, I have a host of friends back home in Hartford trying to dig out from aftermath. The worst part of this, though, is Winter Storm Orko


English: Landscape after a winter storm


is headed their way within the next few hours or so. While Storm Orko is not expected to be as devastating as Storm Nemo, not being prepared for a winter storm is like going out in a down pour without an umbrella.


So to show my love for my peeps back home, I decided to do a blog on how to get through a winter storm. So here goes…


Tips for Inside the House:


Charles W. Bryant gives 10 Ways to Survive a Snowstorm.


Here are a few of his tips that I thought would be helpful to get through Winter Storm Orko after Storm Nemo:


1. Prepare Your Home. One thing you’ll want if a blizzard hits is runnin­g water. Water pipes tend to fr­eeze in temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (about -7 degrees Celsius). Prevent this by wrapping your interior pipes with foam insulation. If the temperature is dropping, leave your faucets running at a slow drip.

You should also do simple things like pay your utility bills on time and keep your cell phone charged. Losing gas or electricity to an unpaid bill before a snowstorm hits is a mistake you won’t want to make. If a blizzard knocks out your power and home phone service, turn your charged cell phone off and save the charge for emergency calls.

2. Stock up on food. As wi­th preparing your home,­ it’s also vital to have your stock of food supplies ready when the storm blows in. In places that don’t typically get severe winter weather, grocery­ stores are often jam-packed with shoppers when a storm is imminent. To avoid walking the crowded aisles and staring at empty shelves, stock up ahead of time. Make a list of items you’d need for each member of your household to live for seven days, more if you live in a cold-weather region. And make sure you don’t forget your pets — keeping a stash of dog and cat food is a good idea. You should also include medicines and personal items like deodorant, toothpaste, soap and shampoo.

3. Buy Batteries. Get a box and fill it with some emerge­ncy equipment, then store it out of the way. Includ­e a flashlight or two with plenty of extra batteries. Hand-crank flashlights are good for a long-term situation, but not really necessary. Buy a battery operated AM/FM radio or weather monitor to keep tabs on the storm system. If you have electric heating, buy a kerosene heater and enough fuel for a week of steady use. It’s important to make sure the heater is ventilated properly. If you have fireplace, keep a stash of emergency wood on hand and don’t use it unless you’re snowed in.

Sleeping bags and wool blankets are also a good idea to have on hand. If you have an electric stove, it’s smart to invest in an inexpensive camping stove and some fuel canisters. You can find dual-burner propane models for about $100 [source:]. If your refrigerator goes out, use a cooler packed with snow or ice to keep your food fresh.

4. Stay Warm. If your home loses power in a snowstorm and you ­have no backup heating syste­m, developing hypothermia is a very real possibility. Simply said, hypothermia is when your body loses more heat than it can produce.

What you should watch out for:

  • Slurred speech
  • Stiff joints
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slow pulse
  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Puffy face
  • Mental confusion

The human body is a machine that can only operate at the same consistent temperature on the thermometer — 98.6 degrees. If hypothermia sets in and you aren’t able to warm your body, you could die. If you feel like hypothermia is beginning, warm yourself as quickly as you can. Use blankets, sleeping bags and layers of clothing. If you’re with someone, snuggle up to borrow some of their body heat. Drink something warm, and then apply warm towels or water bottles to the head, neck, armpits and groin area to raise the core temperature. If you’re able to, get to a hospital for treatment [source: WebMD].


Rachelle Oblack in her article How to Survive a Blizzard suggests the following tips:


5. Stick to one room for heat and close off unnecessary rooms in the house. Make sure there are no air leaks in the room. Keep sunlight streaming through the windows in the day, but block all windows at night.

6. Keep hydrated and nourished in case the heat is out for an extended period. An unhealthy body will be more susceptible to the cold than a healthy one.


If you’re living on the East Coast and you’ve already made it through Winter Storm Nemo, please get ready for Winter Storm Orko!


As for me, I’ll check you guys in the Spring!


6 Tips to Help You Handle a Winter Storm


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Copyright 2006 - 2013 Dr. Angela D. Massey and/or Life On Purpose LLC
April 2015
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