Staying Warm and Safe in Winter Weather

Winter is here, and with it often comes mounds of snow or storms that can keep you trapped inside. Or even worse, you may lose power. Winter is sneaking up on us and winter really can be the most wonderful time of the year. But being cold takes all the fun out of it! There are many ways to stay warm, even in the coldest of climates.

Here are some tips to help you prepare ahead of time and keep you safe after, both indoors and out.


It’s important to have a good heating system in your house; the other half is making sure heat doesn’t escape. Before it gets too cold, take some time to weather strip your windows to keep cold air out (and warm air in). If you don’t have the time for a full weatherproofing, a quick bubble wrap application will do the trick.

  • Close off unneeded rooms and windows, stuff rags or towels under cracks in doors.
  • Ventilate a fireplace or wood stove properly if you use one or room heaters.
  • Dress in loose layers that you can add to or take off as needed.
  • Only use a portable generator outdoors.

Wear an under-layer & frostbite tips

A basic way to stay warmer without having to do very much at all is to wear an under layer. This helps you stay warm without adding a lot of bulk or extra steps.

Try to avoid being outside. If you have to go out, follow these tips from the:

  • Dress as warmly as possible in lightweight layers. Wear a hat, cover your mouth, and use mittens instead of gloves.
  • Get medical help right away if you think you have frostbite.
  • Recognize frostbite symptoms: a loss of feeling or a white or pale looking toes, fingers, ear lobes, or the tip of the nose.
  • If you are shivering uncontrollably, slurring speech, or having memory loss, you could have hypothermia. Get medical help ASAP.
  • Get to a warm area and remove wet clothing. If you can’t do that, use your body heat to warm the frostbitten area.


Stay as far away as you can from things like rain, snow, puddles, ice, and wind. As these things getting too close is what makes you feel cold. Move quickly between buildings, use a car when you can and when you must be outside and try to walk under a shelter.

Get together needed supplies ahead of time as much as possible, including:

  • Extra food, including foods that don’t need to be refrigerated.
  • Bottled water.
  • Flashlights and batteries and other battery powered items in case the power fails.
  • An ice melting product for slippery sidewalks.
  • A non-electric can opener.
  • Extra blankets and sleeping bags.

Create heat 

If your clothes themselves can’t keep you warm, let your body create heat. Moving around will burn energy in your body, which gets expressed as heat. Try exercising or at least try not to stand still.

  • Jumping jacks are a good option if you’re inside. However, when you’re outside movement like that can be dangerous because of slippery ground conditions. A better way to get active when you’re outside is to do small lunges, which create less chance for slipping.


If your medicine needs to be refrigerated, throw it out if the power has been out for a long period of time. The exception: if you can’t get new medication and you need it, continue to take it.

Consume warm foods and beverages

Delicious winter soups and hot cocoa are part of the fun of the season. Hot tea and coffee, and substantial foods like pizza, meat, and toast will keep your body warm as well.

Shoveling Snow

Find a place to get cozy, wrap yourself in army style wool thick blankets and slowly but surely your trapped body heat will warm you right up!

  • Don’t shovel if you have a history of heart disease or heart attack or stroke, or are not in good physical condition.
  • Don’t drink alcohol before or after.
  • Take frequent breaks.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal before or after.