Blizzard Survival Tips: What to Wear, How to Survive in Your Car, and More

January 26, 2015 Updated: January 26, 2015

A blizzard is bearing down on the northeast, and people are seeking survival tips.

Check out some below.

Stranded in a Car or Outside

Some people are stuck outside for some reason or another during a blizzard. If you are, seek any form of shelter immediately.

If you are unable to find some, focus on getting dry. Even a small fire will help dry clothing out, as well as provide warmth, notes About.

And deep snow can act as insulation from the wind and cold temperatures; hold up in a snow cave.

Do not eat snow–melt it by heating it before consuming it. You can do this with a container held close–but not direct to–your body. 

If stuck in a vehicle, stay inside–it’s a great source of shelter that provides a buffer against the elements. But do go outside quickly and tie a flag or another colored material to your antenna, so people can see you easier.

If you have gas, turn on the car for short periods of time to warm the interior, but don’t leave it running for too long, notes the New York Daily News.

If you see people around or are just wanting to get a signal to emergency responders, use the old morse code signal of three long and three short through the horn while your engine is running to attract attention.

While the vehicle will help, you will need to utilize blankets or other material to insulate yourself since warmth leaks out of cars. And move around a bit to help your blood circulate, even if it’s clapping your hands.


If inside, stay in a room with no windows and keep tuned to the Internet and/or radio for updates. Try to stay warm even if the power goes out with extra blankets and clothes.

Survival expert Rick Austin noted to Inquisitr that people wear too many layers as opposed to too few, because you can always shed layers if too hot. However, try not to sweat because that could lead to hypothermia.

Also, drink plenty of fluids, because people lose bodily fluids in the cold due to simple respiration. To help avoid pipes freezing, keep running water at a slow drip.

Be careful with fires inside the house since many people don’t often use their fireplaces and other tools, and try going to bed when it gets dark because you stay warmer in bed and use less candles. 

The Red Cross has a number of good tips, including keeping the garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage. In addition, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.

“Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst,” it advises.

Try to avoid using generators or other natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have alarms, spread those around your sleeping areas. If the alarm sounds, move to a location with fresh air–possibly outdoors–and call for help.

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