Here in Chicago, we know snow. In fact, we’re known as one of the most snow-resilient cities in the country.
But for some, it appears even an inch of snow can be a bit more frightening (ahem, Washington, D.C.).
So, with a major winter storm headed for parts of the East Coast, we’ve decided to offer up a little advice from the "snow-called experts" – Chicagoans.
1. Dress appropriately
In this weather, you can never have too many layers. Dress like the abominable snowman or Randy from A Christmas Story if you have to – but bundle up. And keep those layers loose-fitting and lightweight. Don't forget to keep your toes warm and your feet dry too – it’s important. If you’re walking in the snow during the day, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from glare.
2. Drive slowly or don’t drive at all
We know you have places to be and people to see but when it comes to icy winter roads, it’s best to take your time and be extra cautious. When in doubt, go slowly. Or take public transportation, though trains and buses can have their own problems when it comes to the cold. Here are some tips for preparing your car for the snow and cold.
And definitely don’t drive like this.
3. Dibs early, dibs often
Here in Chicago we take our work seriously. So when we shovel our cars out of snow or ice piles, we make sure we have something to show for it. If you’re working hard in these bitter temps and you don’t want it to go unnoticed, you might want to try this.
4. Complain until your heart’s content – we won’t judge you
It’s probably pretty darn cold and snowy outside! We know, you know it, but it still feels good to whine about it every once and a while. Let it out, we understand. Here's a good example.
5. Daydreaming of warmer temps will either help, or depress you
Some people find staring at images of warmth and sunshine comforting. If you’re one of those people, try looking at some of these summer pics to feel better. If you’re not one of those people, don’t look.
6. Sometimes the cold can be surprisingly beautiful
Freezing temperatures brought us images like this, and we think that’s pretty cool (no pun intended). Don’t be afraid to let Mother Nature surprise you with some of the beautiful images the cold temps can bring!
7. Don’t forget about your pets
Your pets need to stay warm too! What’s dangerous for you can be dangerous for them, so don’t forget to share some of those layers with your animals. Here are some tips for keeping your pets safe.
8. Be prepared
Stock up on things you might need like food, drinks and things to stay warm, because you don’t want to go outside if you don’t have to. Also, keep emergency kits in your homes and cars just in case.
9. Don’t drink booze and eat these foods
Drinking away those winter storm blues may not be the best solution. In fact, alcoholic beverages actually decrease your core body temperature and can be dangerous during winter months. But eating well can help keep you warm and toasty. Try eating extra, healthy fats to help rev up your metabolism, which in turn heats the body. If your New Year's resolution was to drop a few pounds, don't worry -- you can always skip the extra fat and try eating warmer foods and drinks. Try soups, spicy foods, hot coffee and teas to reverse the chill!
10. Be a good neighbor
Be on the lookout for homeless people who could get hypothermia as temperatures dip into the teens overnight. If you see someone who needs shelter or warmer clothing, call your local shelter hot line or authorities.