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Not-So-Well-Known Winter Survival Tips and Tricks

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By Tasha Hunter, Utility Safety Partners

As we head into the dead of winter some people could use a refresher on how to survive in emergency conditions during inclement weather. Some people — but we’re Canadians right?! We know all the usual tips and tricks (keep a first aid kit with winter survival gear in the car, wear layers, stock extra food/water in case of a power outage, etc.). But we already know all this so let’s focus on some not-so-well-known tricks to make your winter as safe as it can be.

WALK LIKE A PENGUIN! Ever wonder why penguins never fall even though they spend all their time walking on sheer ice? Is it the brand of winter boots they wear? Do they have hidden little snowshoes on their feet? Nope! The shuffle when they walk. Most people would call it a waddle but really, they shuffle to ensure they don’t slip (not really true, they shuffle due to their proportions, but it does help with the ice). Keep the bottoms of your feet on the ground while walking to minimize the risk of slipping on ice. Do the penguin shuffle!

STOCK UP ON JOKES! Especially jokes about the weather. When you’re stuck inside for long periods of time, cabin fever can start to take hold. Making light of the situation (while still maintaining a level head of course!) can help stave off negative emotions. Here’s one to get you started: Q: What did the icy road say to the car? A: “Wanna go for a spin?”

PURCHASE A SALT TRUCK AND 100 TONS OF SALT! Joking aside though, use salt on your driveway or walkways/steps. Maybe not 100 tons, but if you can get that much you’d be set for a few storms! Salt can help break down snow and ice and make shoveling much easier if needed. This reduces the amount of time and energy spent outside clearing the areas by hand. 

GATHER COSTUMES! Should the power go out there will be no forms of digital entertainment. Dress your family and friends up and make them reenact your favourite movies and shows! Seriously though, be prepared to turn to old-fashioned entertainment. Have a good selection of books, supplies for your hobbies, board games, etc. handy and the time will just fly by!

Lastly, remember to appreciate the winter while you can! Although some days it may seem to last forever, spring is just around the corner and we’ll have to wait another year to enjoy the penguin shuffle.


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