Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter Weather Tips So You Don’t End Up “Frozen”

By Kelly Norton, Volunteer Contributor 

Has anyone else seen the movie Frozen? If you haven't, I highly recommend it. The movie has lovable characters (especially Olaf the Snowman), an exciting story, and beautiful music (I still can't stop listening to "Let it Go"). Without giving away too much, the story is about two sisters, Anna and Elsa, who are princesses of the kingdom of Arendelle. Elsa was born with magical powers that allow her to create ice and snow. One day she accidentally causes the entire kingdom to become completely frozen and trapped in an eternal winter. This leaves quiet a few people unhappy and very cold! 

The kingdom's citizens may have had an easier time coping with their icy city if there had been a Red Cross of Arendelle to provide winter weather tips! Below are some safety tips that I would have delivered to Arendelle to keep everyone safe and warm:

Bundle up and wear practical footwear. When outside, wear warm but loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Don't forget gloves and a hat (ideally one that covers your ears). Wear waterproof boots that will keep your feet dry and will prevent you from slipping. Kristoff makes a great example with his winter gear.

Avoid travel. Driving when there is sleet, freezing rain, snow, or fog can be treacherous. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supply kit in your car (of if you live in Arendelle, your sleigh). 

Stay informed. Watch TV (The Weather Channel, local news channels), listen to the radio (NOAA Weather Radio), or use Twitter for updates from the National Weather Service

Run water occasionally. Running water occasionally, even at a trickle, can help prevent your pipes from freezing.

Keep the temperature consistent. This may surprise you, but keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. Changing the temperature frequently can increase the chance of pipes freezing or bursting.

If needed, go to a shelter. If your home loses power or heat during an extended period of freezing temperatures, go to a designated public shelter (like the castle). 

Help others. Check in on people who may require special assistance, such as the elderly neighbors, people you know who live alone, people with disabilities, and families with young children. 

Befriend a snowman or a reindeer. Olaf and Sven end up being very helpful companions!

With snowfall already hitting the DC area, these tips will  may come in handy! To learn more, check out additional winter weather safety tips from the Red Cross. 

And if you're not a fan of winter, just think warm - 6 months to summer!

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