OK, I know things are tough for those of you still in the south, and are seeing/dealing with snow for the first time in your lives. And, as crazy as it is, for some people, being stuck in a traffic jam for 13 hours can become a life or death situation.
I moved to Illinois last year, and this is my first "real" winter. Temperatures have been dancing around 20°F to NEGATIVE 30° F! Negatives, my friends, and snowing a few inches at a time, but the snow hardly melts, so there is about 10" down you have to deal with constantly. And while I did not grow up with this kind of weather, and many folks will tell you, "She has more talent and book smarts than common sense" (yes, possibly a true story) I have learned a few things in dealing with an impending
1. LONG UNDERWEAR, long johns, thermals, ninja suits, A.K.A. your Under Armor heat type things that you put on under your clothes to keep warm probably when you are hunting. I don't care if you are just walking 10 feet to check the mail box, PUT THEM ON!
2. Layer! Layer your thermals with a t-shirt, and then a fleece hoodie or something of the sort. For the bottoms, it wouldn't hurt to throw on a pair of sweat pants over your thermals and then a pair of jeans. Layering is the key for the wind not getting through, especially on your lower half since the top half will have a jacket.
3. Gloves, Hat/toboggan, and scarf stays in your big coat pocket. You may not think it's that cold when you first walk out the door, but after walking the dog for 5 minutes and she still hasn't done her business, you'll be thankful you have those items in your pockets!
4. Always bring a snack(s) and a jug of water or drink. I tend to grab a granola bar and I'm always carrying water or tea, just something with me for emergencies. And I grab enough for The Mr. when he is with me too. You never know when you will need it. Just remember not to keep the water bottles in your car because there are studies showing the plastic breaks down over time. Not sure if that's true or not, but I'm not chancing it. So, I fill up a cup with a lid of whatever I want and take it with me.
5. Have a safety bag with you in the car. Ours is an old Army book bag of The Mr.'s. In it, I've put duct tape, a small set of tools, plastic bags, rags, a couple of granola bars, a nice new bright red first aid kit, a couple of blankets, baby wipes, the ice scraper/snow brush, and any other random things that normally would be laying in your kitchen junk drawer but that you could potentially use in case of emergencies while on the road. You never know when things will be needed, and keeping it in a book bag makes it easy to grab if the car catches on fire. Oh and I've heard kitty litter or sand will help you get out of the ice or snow, so grab some of that and keep in there.
6. STAY HOME If you think that the weather men are nuts when they put out warnings days ahead of a certain event, you are nuts yourself! They don't warn you for nothing! They could be wrong about rain or how hot it will be that day, but normally when they are warning you for days, you'd be smart to listen to them. Stay home! Keep your kids home from school when they predict a Sneaux-mageddon, stay home from work, don't wait until the last minute for getting groceries, and never let your gas tank go below the 1/2 way mark. NOTHING out there is worth more than your life, no job, no errands, no school... nothing. Just stay home, snuggle with your family and make it a nice, hot chocolate filled day! I'm sure the State Police and other emergency workers will thank you that you are one less accident waiting to happen!
Oh, and for Heaven's sake, bring your animals inside! If you couldn't stay out all day and night with a jacket on, they can't either. Fur does not protect them from the cold as much as you'd like to think! If YOU are warm, let THEM be warm too! I just don't understand how people can do this to their pets! It's inhumane! Even if they have to stay in a kennel inside, it's still better than outside freezing to death!
Ok, tips and rant over! I know the name is funny, and makes a little joke about the Cajun language, and most situations that are happening right now are anything but funny. I am sending prayers up like crazy for all of my friends and family having to deal with this!
For all of my Northern readers, please chime in if you have any other tips for my Southern friends to handle the snow/ice/freezing temperatures!