Tips for bad weather

12019 / Pixabay / Courtesy Photo
Trucks in Chicago, Illinois clearing the streets of snow.

Your hands are numb from the freezing cold. You can barely feel your face as the harsh wind cuts across your cheeks as you wait for your car to warm up. As winter approaches, bad weather curses the streets with black ice and racks up electric bills. Here are some tips for how to fight off the cold.

To remove ice from windshields, invest in a de-icer spray or make one by combining two thirds of rubbing alcohol with a third of tap water. Start the car but put the heater on medium, not full blast. As it defrosts, spray the de-icer onto the frozen windshield and let it sit for about a minute before carefully scraping the ice.

Some people buy an ice scraper to scrape away ice as long as it’s used carefully but using a school ID, or a card similar to it, can also work. Do not use metal items to scrape ice. Pouring regular water onto a windshield would also be ineffective as it will only freeze again. One way to reduce ice altogether is to cover it with bedsheets, cardboard, towels, or a tarp overnight.

Once the car is drivable, keep your regular headlights on so other drivers can see you. The lights can help show where black ice is. Black ice is hard to see but tends to be reflective and located on the back roads and bridges.

If you’re brave enough to drive on icy streets, invest in snow chains for your tires. If not, don’t tailgate others and be sure to pump the brakes at a reasonable distance. Sudden movements when braking or turning can be dangerous, so it would be best to avoid that. Slow down when the roads are covered with snow or ice. It’s also important to keep your gas tank filled due to the high usage of gas when the car works to stay warm.

To keep your body warm, wear layers of clothing that are insulated and windproof. Wearing wool is more beneficial during the winter season rather than cotton or denim, which gets wet and cold faster. Keep clothing loose so your circulation doesn’t get cut off. Scarves are also best at protecting your face. 

Carry hand warmers to place into your mittens to trap the heat. For feet, boots are preferable to keep water out, but breathable shoes are not. Toe warmers can be worn with shoes to keep your feet from going numb.

In houses, keep the doors to rooms that aren’t being occupied closed so warm air is not lost through circulation. Cover up the windows at night with curtains or hang a blanket on walls and doors to insulate the heat. Set the temperature to heaters at a medium setting because the higher the temperature, the faster it gets lost to the cold air outside. Space heaters save electricity by focusing heat for the room in use.

There are many other ways to keep warm during the winter season. These are just a few tips to handle the bad weather that may come along.

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