Surviving the Bitter Cold

Chicago (and much of the immediate Midwest) is the middle of a blizzard! You can barely see down the block, snow has been coming down for over a day and is blowing from all directions, and it’s cold. So what can you do to keep warm in this weather? Here are a few tips.

Unfortunately, snow days don’t seem to apply to adults. In a commerce-driven society, we all have to go to work no matter what it seems, so when you go out in the cold for that brutal commute keep the following in mind:

— Keep your feet warm and dry. Appropriate footwear is key– ideally a sturdy pair of snow boots and two pairs of socks. If you don’t have a pair of snow boots and you have to settle for the footwear you have, bring an extra pair of socks and dry shoes to change into when you get to your destination.

— Wear a hat and scarf. We lose most of our body heat through our head and neck, so keeping these areas covered is vital to staying warm. Don’t forget a good pair of gloves for your hands!

— Wearing several layers instead of one bulky sweater will actually keep you warmer, because air gets trapped in between the layers, providing extra insulation. A winning combination for me is a long sleeved t-shirt, a medium-weight cardigan and if it’s really cold, and a fleece pullover or sweater, followed by my coat.

At home, keeping warm is just as important. Here are some tips for maintaining comfortable temperatures at home:

— Keep the curtains or shades closed. They’ll provide an extra layer of insulation.

— Keep your clothing layered at home too. You can always keep adding!

— Electric space heaters can be excellent supplemental heating. Just make sure to keep them at least three feet away from any other furniture or clutter, and I would recommend keeping them even further away from curtains and bed blankets– anything that comes into contact with the heater can start a fire.

— Keep doors to unused rooms closed. That will keep the warm air in the room where you are.

— Put extra blankets on the beds.

— Drink lots of warm tea, eat lots of hot soup and think warm thoughts about spring!

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4 thoughts on “Surviving the Bitter Cold

  1. You forgot one thing – keep the kitchen faucet dripping and the cabinet doors beneath the sink open to prevent pipes in 100 year-old homes from freezing. At least that’s what I do when its severely cold. Our neighbor went away one Christmas to see his brother in Ohio and when he came back the pipes on the third floor froze and burst. When he opened the front door – whoozsh – a flood of water greeted him. Even though he was a lawyer it took three years to settle the damages to the home.

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