A Conversation for How to Survive Extreme Weather
The Researcher formally known as Dr St Justin Started conversation Oct 30, 2000
OK. There are a few different scenarios to cover here.
1) Heavy snow, and you need to travel somewhere.
Well, unless your destination is within walking distance, forget it. Un;ess you happen to drive a snowplough, in which case get to work! If you're going to walk, wear snowshoes. Or tennis raquets are rumoured to work. Basically, you need a really big surface area, to stop you sinking through the snow. Wrap up warm!
2) Heavy snow, and you *are* travelling somewhere.
If you are on public transport, you'll be told what to do (or things will just be as normal, except for delays). If you're not sure, ask someone official.
In private transport (ie cars, etc): Drive carefully. Use a higher gear, with lower revs to reduce the chance of skidding. Obviously, reduce your speed - stopping distances will be in the order of ten times that of ideal conditions.
If the roads are getting blocked with snow, it's probably a good idea to find a safe place to park, and get out of your car. I would imagine that there are few experiences worse than being stuck in a car, which you can't get out of because snow blocks the doors.
If you are walking, take care. Especially if you're walking alongside roads. Try and wear reflective and/or bright coloured clothes, so you will be seen more easily) although it's probably not the best idea to wear white! Snowshoes may be a good idea, if at all possible (see above).
3) Stuck out in snow. Snowbound.
If you really can't get anywhere, and have no means of communication (ie mobile phone), you might want to think about digging in. You need to dig yourself a hole - not too big, otherwise you won't keep warm. The idea is to get out of the wind, and get some shelter. A sort of igloo as what we're talking about here. They can retain heat quite well - just make sure that there are no holes in the structure.
4) Caught in avalanche.
If you're really unlucky, this could happen. You will probably be completely disorientated - to the extent that you're not even sure which way is up. The easy way to find 'up' is to use gravity - drop an object from the centre of the hollow that you're in. Dig the opposite way to the direction it fell. You may want to dig on a slight incline, or cut foot/hand holes in the column that you create. Keep checking the direction - it's easy to become confused.
The High Duke of Mars Posted Nov 3, 2000
Some other pointers -- being in the Midwest we are experts on every type of weather except hurricanes -- although we have gotten the odd tropical storm.
1. Heavy snow and you need to travel somewhere.
- Please don't. Whiteouts need to be experienced to be believed. We had a blizzard a few years ago -- they were digging corpsicles out of snowdrifts in April. One man died a hundred yards from his house. If you were a dolt and either ignored the weather forecast or were forced by work or duty to be out anyways, stay where you are, whether it's at work, in a supermarket, or at home. If you have a medical emergency call the authorities. If worst comes to worst your "ambulance" will be a snowplow.
2. Heavy snow, and you *are* travelling somewhere.
- In areas where heavy snow is likely to fall always carry a blanket in your trunk/boot. Carry a flashlight/torch, a bright-colored kerchief, matches, some chocolate bars, a cell phone, maybe a book, and a sign that says HELP in big day-glow letters. DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR CAR. YOU ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO BE NOTICED IN YOUR CAR. If you get stuck, put the HELP sign in your window, tie the kerchief to your car's antenna, TURN OFF THE ENGINE, and curl up in the blanket. DO NOT RUN YOUR CAR'S ENGINE FOR MORE THAN A FEW MINUTES AT A TIME, TO WARM UP. DO NOT WARM UP FREQUENTLY. If your car's exhaust becomes blocked with snow you may be found toasty, warm, and quite dead due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Minor frostbite on a chilly living person is preferable to the aforementioned warm dead person. See above for the results of leaving your car, which leads me to my next point.
3. Stuck out in the snow. Snowbound.
- Igloos are fine and well, but do not make your igloo on the road, do not make it in a snowdrift near a road. The other thing that killed people in my area after our blizzard was snowplows plowing people and their cozy snow shelters to the side of the road.
4. Caught in an avalanche.
- This one is out of my experience. I'm in the Midwest. We're flat. Very flat. Snow only falls down, or blows sideways. Slanty-hilly thingies are found east of us, or far west.
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