Surviving a Blizzard

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Surviving a Blizzard The whiteout conditions of a serious blizzard are no laughing matter. In listening to NYC officials talk about preparing for this most recent blizzard they spoke about how prepared they were to handle the snow but it was incumbent on people staying in and out of their way. This made me think …

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Car Survival in Winter

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It’s predicted to be another harsh winter and, for most in the U.S., this means trouble if someone gets stuck out on the road during a blizzard or other extreme conditions. Hypothermia (the effects on the body from exposure to cold) may occur on the wilderness trail, but also right in the driver’s seat of the family car. It’s important to have a plan in case you are stranded in your vehicle.

 

Your Car

 

Winter conditions don’t just affect people, they affect cars as well. Cold affects rubber and metal; it even decreases the battery’s efficiency. Tires become stiff and flat for the first few hundred yards. Your oil and other lubricants become thicker at cold temperatures. This makes the engine work harder.

 

Therefore, vehicles that will be doing duty in extreme cold should be “winterized”. This involves switching to a lighter viscosity oil, changing to snow tires, and choosing the right (anti-freeze) ratio of coolant to water. Gas tanks should never be less than half full.

 

Your Life 

 

You’re not a bear, so you can’t hibernate through the cold weather; you’ll have to live in it, so take measures to avoid becoming a victim of it. Many deaths from exposure are avoidable if simple precautions are taken.

 

The first question you should ask before you get in the car in cold weather is: What’s the forecast? Is it possible that you’re driving straight into trouble? Checking the weather beforehand is a lot better than finding out about it on the road.

 

The second question should be: “Is this trip necessary?” If the answer is “no”, you should stay home. For most people that work, however, the answer is “yes”. If you have no choice but to hit the road during a winter storm, drive as if your life depends on it (because it does). Brush ice and snow off windshields, side mirrors, or anywhere your view might be blocked. Don’t speed, tailgate, or weave in and out of traffic. Make turns slowly and deliberately; avoid quick stops and starts.

 

Notify someone of your travel plans before you head out, especially if you’re in rural areas. Take your cell phone with you but save it for emergencies. Your focus has to be on the road, not on texts from your friends.

 

Stranded!

 

If you live in an area that routinely has very cold winters, you may not be able to avoid being stranded in your car one day. Your level of preparedness will improve your chances of staying healthy and getting back home. So what should your plan of action be?

 

  1. Stay calm and don’t leave the car. It’s warmer there than outside and you have protection from the wind. Having adequate shelter is one of the keys to success, whether it’s in the wilderness or on a snow-covered highway.
  2. Ventilation is preferable to asphyxiation. Crack a window on the side away from the wind for some fresh air. People talk about water and food being necessary for survival but, first, you’ll need air to breathe. Wet snow can block up your exhaust system, which causes carbon monoxide to enter the passenger compartment. Colorless and odorless, it’s a deadly gas that kills in enclosed spaces without ventilation. Clearing the exhaust pipe of snow and running the engine only ten minutes or so an hour will help prevent monoxide poisoning.
  3. Group Hug. If you’re in a group, huddle together as best you can to create a warm pocket in the car.
  4. Keep Moving. Rub your hands, put them in your armpits, or otherwise keep moving to make your muscles produce heat.
  5. Don’t overexert yourself. If your car is stuck in the snow, you’ll want to dig yourself out. A lot of sweat, however, will cause clothing to become wet. Wet clothing loses its value as insulation and leads to hypothermia.
  6. Let others know you’re there. If you have flares, use them. Flashing emergency lights on your vehicle will drain battery power, so use them only if you think someone might see them.

The Winter Car Kit 

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If you’re going to travel in very cold conditions, there are a certain number of items that you should keep in your vehicle. This is what an effective winter survival car kit contains:

 

  • Wool Blankets. Wool can stay warm even when wet.
  • Spare sets of dry clothes, including socks, hats, and mittens.
  • Hard warmers or other instant heat packs (activated, usually, by shaking, they’ll last for hours)
  • Matches, lighters and/or firestarters in case you need to manufacture heat.
  • Candles, flashlights (keep batteries in backwards until you need them).
  • Small multi-tool with blade, screwdrivers, pliers, etc.
  • Larger combination tool like a foldable shovel (acts as a shovel but also an axe, saw, etc.)
  • Sand or rock salt in plastic container (to give traction where needed.)
  • Tow chain or rope.
  • Flares.
  • Jumper cables.
  • Water, Food (energy bars, MREs, dehydrated soups, candies).
  • Baby wipes for hygiene purposes.
  • A first aid kit.
  • Medications as needed.
  • Tarp and duct tape (brightly colored ones will be more visible and aid rescue.)
  • Metal cup, thermos, heat source (to melt snow, make soup, etc.)
  • Noisemaker (whistle)
  • Cell phone and charger

The items above will give you a head start in keeping safe and sound even if stranded. With a plan of action, a few supplies, and a little luck, you’ll survive even in the worst blizzard.

 

Joe Alton MD

AuthorJoe

Survival Medicine Hour: Hypothermia, Pt. 2, Avalanches, Blizzard Survival

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In this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton: Bees are having a hard time these days and new attention is being given to their plight. The Fish and Wildlife Service have added the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee to the endangered species list, which join seven species of the Yellow-Faced bee that were added in September.

 

Hypothermia (part 2) is discussed regarding treatments including: getting the person out of the cold or sheilding them from the weather as much as possible, monitoring their breathing, begining CPR if needed, warming them up with your body heat or warm dry compresses and more. Keep a Winter Car Survival Kit and supplies handy to help when disaster or accidents happen.

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Avalanches are dangerous, but only a small percentage of victims die from hypothermia, most perish due to traumatic injury or suffocation before they freeze to death. Snow slides are part and parcel of the winter wilderness experience and it pays to know what to do if you’re caught in one. Blizzards occur every year in the United States, and cause fatalities among the unprepared. In these storms, 70% of deaths occur due to traffic accidents and 25% from being caught outside during the blizzard. Learn safety tips to prevent these deaths and keep you and your family safe and healthy during the winter.

 

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2017/01/13/survival-medicine-hour-hypothermia-pt2-avalanches-blizzards

 

Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

 

Joe and Amy Alton

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The Altons

Hey, are you prepared to deal with medical issues in the uncertain future? Find out more about 150 topics as they relate to survival in our new Third Edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Medical Help is Not on the Way.

LIVE RADAR: Developing Blizzard Cuts Power to 50,000 in Denver Area

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Survival World News

By Mark Leberfinger AccuWeather

A blizzard is on pace to bring significant travel problems to the central United States.

The heaviest snow will fall from eastern Colorado into Nebraska on Wednesday, including in Denver. The snow will then shift eastward into portions of the Upper Midwest into Thursday, including cities of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Minneapolis, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Strong winds will accompany this storm and could lead to whiteout conditions at times from Colorado to Wisconsin. Over a foot of snow could fall in some locations.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: LIVE RADAR: Developing Blizzard Cuts Power to 50,000 in Denver Area

RELATED:
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Blizzard to threaten travel shutdowns in central US this week

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Surviving a blizzard!

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Surviving a blizzard

2-10-16 blizzardA blizzard can happen within minutes and turn a perfectly calm day into the North Pole. So whether you’re in the car or camping or in your house always refrain from getting on the road again till the sun comes up.A blizzard is most commonly undercooked because they only occur in winter season and it’s a common occurrence for people to experience snowfall. It’s a daily routine for them to go to work, clearing out the snow and playing in the snow. However Snowstorms can be quite brutal at times and cause severe injuries and complications if they aren’t treated with precautionary measures. The problem with people is that they are easily fooled into a false sense of security when something is a normal day occurrence. Now tsunamis for example are something people may fear because that’s a natural disaster that doesn’t happen every day. But in winters it snows consecutively for weeks so people think that this isn’t something harmful.

No matter how advanced technology may have become there still always room for error. You can’t control the weather nor can you predict it with absolute surety. Hence Always be prepared for the worst to happen. In my article below I have mentioned a few tips to help your prepare and get through a snowstorm or blizzard if it catches you if guard.

Food and water

blizzardIn winters always make sure you have extra food supplies that can last a few days. You don’t know when the storm is going to end and how long you’re going to be trapped in your house. If you’re going to wait till the last moment and head out right before the storm or during the storm then might as well take clothes and a blanket with you because you’re not coming back.

Heat source

If your home has fireplaces ensure you know how to utilize it securely. At the point when a winter storm warning is issued keep enough firewood inside to keep going for a couple of days.  If you have generators make certain to have enough fuel to keep it running for a couple of days. Keep the generator totally outside, not indoors. Running a generator inside can bring about carbon monoxide poisoning and death.

Think everything through

blizzardOne thing you’ll need if a snowstorm or blizzard hits is running water. Water channels tend to freeze in temperatures beneath 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Prevent this by wrapping your pipes with foam protection. In the event that the temperature is dropping leave your taps running just a bit, enough for minimal drops of water to fall so not a lot of water is wasted.

Avoid leaving the house

Do not attempt to leave your home in any condition. If you need to check up on a neighbor or a friend that’s nearby maybe 5 minutes away then that’s sort of okay. But don’t attempt to be Rambo and start searching for everyone making sure their good because it’s a waste of time. You won’t find them and chances are that you may get lost to.

Stay hydrated

Drink loads of water in the event you don’t have electricity and no access to heat for a long period

Shoveling

blizzardRecent studies and surveys have shown that people die from heart attacks every year while shoveling the snow out of their driveways. The reason being people may not realize it but snow is pretty heavy specially when you’re just lifting up heaps of it at once and chucking it out of the way. For people who are over 40 or not physically active and do not visit the gym it’s unhealthy when you start lifting up 50 pounds of snow at once. Your heart isn’t used to that much load being out on it. It’s recommended you take help from neighbors or take it slowly and steadily.

However these tips for when your safely surrounded by the walls of your house and your right next to the comfort of your family. However many people often get stranded during a storm and have no clue what to do. So here are a few things you should follow when you’re out on the road during winters.

Wait out the storm

If you have gone camping or you’re on the road and massive chunks of snow start falling on you than it’s a waste of time trying to get away. Do not send a person out for help and don’t try to be Sherlock and think of cheeky ways to get home. Simply stay in your car and wait for the storm to pass. Make sure you keep starting your engine every few minutes. Don’t turn your car of for a long time, because it won’t start because of the extreme cold. Your engine won’t get the heat it needs to start up.

Never leave your house empty handed

In winters never leave your house empty handed, even if you just have to make a quick run to the grocery store which is 5 minutes away.  What if the storm hits, you don’t want to be stranded out there with no food, water or emergency supplies now do you? Carry a first aid kit and a bug out bag with you even if you don’t use it. Keep one separately just for the car. You don’t know how long or for how many days you’re going to be stuck, and in that severe temperature you have very minimal chances of surviving without food and fluids.

Make sure your exhaust pipe is clear

Check to make sure your exhaust pipe does not have any snow accumulated around it or inside of it. A sealed car can cause carbon monoxide to build up and cause poisoning and death.

Change out wet clothing

If you have a bit of snow on yourself and your clothes are wet, then its urgent you change. This is because frostbites can happen easily and you need to keep your body warm.

Author Bio:

Barney Whistance is a passionate Finance, Heavy Machinery and Lifestyle blogger who loves to write about prevailing trends. You can find him using Twitter and LinkedIn.

The post Surviving a blizzard! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

A Few Tips for Surviving a Blizzard in a Stranded Car

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snowed in carWhen Winter Storm Jonas rolled into the East Coast, everyone knew it was coming, but that didn’t prevent some people from getting caught in the cold. For instance, 500 vehicles on a Pennsylvania turnpike got stuck in traffic during the storm, after several trailer trucks jackknifed on the road. It took 24 hours to clear the turnpike before stranded passengers could go on their way.

Fortunately, this wasn’t in the middle of nowhere, and National Guardsmen could still reach the drivers to deliver essential supplies. But even with their help it was no picnic, and it was still a dangerous situation for all involved. It just goes to show that when a storm is in your path, no matter where you live, you should prepare yourself and your vehicle for the possibility of being stranded in snowy weather. Obviously, the worst case scenario would involve being stranded in a remote area, where you don’t have the benefit of reaching help. Here’s a few of the most important things you should remember if that ever happens to you:

Should You Stay or Go?

Say your car malfunctions, gets stuck, or crashes in a remote area during a blizzard. If there’s nothing you can do to get the vehicle moving again, you have to make the tough decision of whether to stay in the vehicle or to leave and find help (it should go without saying that in this hypothetical scenario, you don’t have a cell phone signal). In most cases, you’ll want to err on the side of staying, unless you know for a fact that you can reach help by foot within an hour or two.

Don’t overestimate your abilities though. Nobody wants to face the possibility of staying in their car for several days or weeks, but many a stranded driver has died over the years, because they left to get help and succumbed to the elements. But before you even consider leaving the house, there’s a few things you should have stocked up in your vehicle.

Basic Supplies

There are some basic, common sense supplies you should have in the trunk or backseat and ways to prime your vehicle for bouts of cold weather. To prepare for being stranded in a vehicle, you need to think about all the things you would take if you were going camping, but minus the tent. Non-perishable food, water bottles, wool and polypro clothing, sleeping bag, hand warmers, tools, first aid kit, etc. The food you take should consist of really high calorie substances, loaded with fats, carbs, and proteins. Just make sure to keep your food and water inside a cooler to prevent them from freezing and swelling (canned foods may not be the best idea).

You’ll also want a bring portable camping stove of some kind, so you can melt snow into drinking water and warm up your food. It’s not uncommon for people to get stranded in their vehicles for more than a few days, and you may not have the space to store enough water for that time frame. Just remember that you can’t use the stove for warmth. Using stoves inside your vehicle could be very dangerous and could cause carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s best to use the camping stove outside and have hand and foot warmers to maintain body heat.

Tools and Signaling

There are a few more items you should keep in your vehicle that you probably wouldn’t take on a camping trip. In all likelihood you won’t be inside your car for every moment of the day, so rubber boots are a must. You should always have road flares on hand, but in this case, you’ll need them to signal any search and rescue teams that might be looking for you. If you keep reflective emergency triangles in your car, those would also be useful for advertising your presence. And finally, you should consider a small or collapsible shovel for digging out your tires, as well as sand or kitty litter to give them traction.

Insulation

If you decide to hunker down for the night, the first thing you’ll need to do is insulate your vehicle. If you have any newspaper, books you can tear up, or extra blankets, it would be wise to tape them to the windows. However, glass is already a decent insulator, so your highest priority should be to insulate the edges of the doors and windows, or wherever cold air might get in. You could also cut out the stuffing in the seat cushions or use the floor mats.

Alternatively, you can use the snow to your advantage. In 2012, a Swedish man survived alone in his car for two months, despite the temperature falling to -30C . Experts attributed his survival to the fact that his car was buried in snow, which created an igloo effect and kept him warm. It wouldn’t be bad idea to build up a wall of snow around the edges of the car. There is a catch however. If your car is completely walled off then nobody will see you. It would be crazy to completely bury your car, and don’t attempt this unless you have something colorful or reflective to let people know where you are.

Keeping Warm

If your engine is still running, it would be a good idea to turn it on periodically so you can build up some heat in your vehicle. If your car is properly insulated, you may only need to keep the engine idling for 15 minutes at a time, every hour or so. You’ll have to keep it up however, if you want to prevent the fuel lines from freezing over. Just remember to go outside every now and then and clear any snow out of your exhaust pipe. Failure to do so could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

On a final note, it’s best to avoid this kind of situation in the first place. None of us want bad weather to ruin our plans, but when a snowstorm arrives, you should really just hunker down at home and stay off the roads. Keep your vehicle in tip-top shape and make sure your gas tank is full, just in case you absolutely have to drive. Snowstorms aren’t just inconvenient. Any attempt to brave them could prove deadly.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Survival Medicine Hour: Blizzard, Top Natural Remedies, More

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26 inches of snow and high winds cost 19 people their lives this weekend on the East Coast. Would you know how to keep warm in a blizzard? Dr. Joe Alton discusses the news and basic strategies that could save your life. Also, What will you do when the pharmaceuticals run out in a survival setting? Do you know the basics of natural remedies like essential oils and herbal medicine? Joe Alton, MD, and Amy Alton, ARNP, discuss what you need to know about the medicinal benefits of various natural substances.

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2016/01/25/survival-medicine-hour-blizzard-natural-remedies-more

 

Joe Alton, MD

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Learn about how to use all the tools in the medical woodshed with the 3-category Amazon bestseller “The Survival Medicine Hour“, with over 270 5-star reviews!

INFOGRAPHIC: Risk Areas Of Natural Disasters in the USA

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Life throws you curveballs, and there are many things in life that you can’t prepare for. However, you can prepare for natural disasters and severe weather that’s likely to come your way. Different areas of the United States are more likely to encounter certain kinds of dangerous weather, and by knowing what your region is […]