This winter weather has been exceptionally harsh for some regions. As we get older, it becomes increasingly important to keep ourselves protected from harsh weather and low temperatures.
While the worst of it may be behind us, it’s often hard to predict when we’ll have record-breaking low weather temperatures. Recently the National Weather Service even considered the temperatures in some areas to be “life-threatening.” That’s why it’s important to be prepared for the worst throughout the winter weather.
Here’s a quick explanation of why as well as some tips for staying warm when the weather gets bad.
Why the Cold is Dangerous
As we age, we tend to become less aware of drops in our body temperature. Our natural ability to regulate temperature simply declines. As such, older individuals experiencing hypothermia may not even shiver. Symptoms like ashen, pale skin and feelings of fatigue and confusion are more common.
In a home that’s not properly heated, we become susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. And sometimes bad weather can cause other hazards as well.
First of all, working outside in cold weather causes your heart to work overtime. For this reason, it’s best to avoid strenuous activities in the cold. Additionally, bad weather can bring icy patches which increase the risk of slipping and falling.
Always Have a Stocked Emergency Kit
When temperatures drop to dangerous lows, it’s best to stay indoors. Of course, you should also have a well-stocked emergency kit. You never know when poor weather could lead to you being stranded for an extended period. Worse still, sometimes inclement weather can also lead to power outages.
Keep Yourself Warm
Ideally, you should keep your home thermostat set to a minimum of 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Bundling up can also help though, too. It’s worth noting that layering multiple items of clothing is more effective than simply wearing one thick layer.
Three layers are often the best bet. The inner layer should ideally be a microfiber fabric, while the second should be the most insulating. The third later should provide protection from wind and rain.
Also, be careful when it comes to space heaters and other heating aids. Never use gas heaters indoors, and you should be especially mindful of electrics as well.
Insulate Your Home
Keep warm air in and the cold out by ensuring your home is well insulated. There are lots of quick, affordable solutions to help cut heating costs and protect your home from heat loss. These include window films, insulated curtains, and blinds, as well as window quilts.
Choose Your Firewood Wisely
If you’re using a fireplace or wood stove to keep warm (especially in the event of a power outage), firewood matters. While dense hardwood logs may cost more, they also produce more heat. That’s why oak and maple are recommended over softer, less-expensive woods like spruce and pine.