Cool Tip: How to Survive a Snowstorm
How to survive a snowstorm is an essential skill in North America. How would you survive a sudden snowstorm if you were in the wilderness? If you were driving from one destination to another and it began to snow as you traveled, do you have any idea what you would do if the snow got so bad that it blocked the road and you suddenly had to stop?
As advanced as our weather forecasters are today, weather systems are still a changeable force of nature. They may come quickly, change direction without any notice, and build up intensity in just a short time period. Whether you are at home, on foot, in your vehicle, or at work, a winter snowstorm could catch you off guard. Knowing how to survive a snowstorm is essential!
If you live in places that have a lot of snowstorms or blizzards, you should prepare a survival kit, and place it in your trunk just in case you get caught out in the cold. This survival kit should contain things such as water, food, flashlights with extra batteries, a lighter or matches, maybe even some toilet tissue for starting a small fire, some band-aids, a knife of some kind, tape and sterile bandages. There is no telling how long you may be stuck in the snow, so be sure to have plenty for at least 3-5 days.
Here are some “how to survive a snowstorm” tips that might just save your life. The very first thing you should do is don’t panic. This always leads to terrible results. Once you conquer your panic, look inside your glove compartment to find anything that might possibly be useful in such a perilous predicament. After looking all around the inside of your car, open the trunk to check if there is anything else that might be used later.
The best thing you can do during this time is to stay close to your car. This way you can stay warm as long as you have gas in the car. Just remember to have plenty of ventilation, so you won’t inhale carbon monoxide. Listen to the weather report from a local station.
If for some reason you have to leave the car, perhaps to keep from getting hypothermia, or decide to go for help, you will have to make a shelter for your family. If you are lucky enough to be around some pine trees, you should burrow under the lowest branches that you can find, because snow very seldom penetrates the thick pine boughs. However, if there are no such trees available, you might try digging a snow cave. Snow acts like an insulator once the sides are packed, but it can also make you wet, and moisture is your biggest enemy in the cold. No matter which sort of cover you have available, you would make a hole that is at least three feet wider and one foot longer than the tallest person. Pull the snow to that point and pack the sides. It takes a lot of energy to build a shelter in the snow and the heat produced by your body doesn’t last long after you have started to sweat.
You will live longer doing without food than you will without water, but you have to be careful about getting enough heat to melt the snow. If you can’t make a fire or don’t have a heat source, you can eat snow. However, eating snow will also tend to make you cold on the inside, so you must take small portions of the snow and let it melt in your mouth a little at a time.
As for food, when you are stranded, it can become an obsession in your mind. So try not to think of eating at all. Think of something else. If you’re not knowledgeable about what kind of food to eat in the wilderness, don’t try to eat it as it could poison you.
Usually, as soon as the weather is permissible, rescue helicopters are out looking for anyone that might have been stranded. If you put out a distress signal by putting branches on top of the snow that said SOS, or have the hood of your car up and an umbrella placed on the motor, your chances of being rescued are much better.
The U.S. Army Survival Manual provided to solders for extreme weather survival training sums things up in one word, S U R V I V A L.
S— Size up the situation
U— Use all your senses
R— Remember where you are.... (Remember this phrase)
V— Vanquish fear and panic
V— Value living
A— Act like the natives… (Think like cavemen)
L— Live by your wits
So, if you find yourself stranded, remember SURVIVAL is the key to living.