It’s going to get cold. Last week was cold, but this week is going to be frigidly, bone-chillingly, freeze-your-brain-without-eating-ice-cream cold!! Last week we struggled to hit zero degrees. For the next couple of days we won’t likely get above -15. For the high!! Minnesotans are used to cold weather, but that doesn’t mean we still don’t have to brace ourselves and get ready for it. So, how do we prepare for cold such as this?
1. We gas up the car. It doesn’t matter if your tank is 3/4ths full. You gas it up. Don’t take the chance on running out of gas on a cold night.
2. We go grocery shopping. Bread, milk, eggs…the basics, sure. But don’t forget things like canned soup, fruits, or even sandwich meat. What if the power goes out and your electric stove doesn’t work? Do you have a food you can eat without cooking? Or better yet, a propane camp stove or wood cooker for a back up?
3. We close off rooms seldom used. Take my oldest son’s room for example. Tyler hasn’t lived at home for 2 years now. His door stays closed. No sense wasting precious heat for a room no one is going in.
4. We dig out extra blankets. Sitting on the couch watching TV, or reading in bed is an activity that is not producing any energy/heat through working muscles. It can be chilly. Put on a sweater, and rustle up an extra blanket. Or in Jeff’s case, an opened sleeping bag.
5. Start your engines! Brave the cold every couple of hours to start your vehicles to make sure they’ll run. In an emergency, you’ll want to make sure your car battery is ready to go!
6. Space heaters. Another thing you don’t want to take a chance on is your water pipes freezing up. Opening the cupboards under your sinks and aiming a space heater at the pipes is a good idea.
7. Bundle up! Even for little trips like running out to the mailbox or taking the garbage out it’s a good idea to wear lots of layers and leave no skin exposed. With wind chills in the -50 below range, you can get frostbite in a matter of minutes. Wear hats and gloves, boots, and scarves. And even for that short jaunt to the mailbox take your cell phone. If you slip on the ice and twist your ankle, that cell phone could save your life!