Jan 6, 2014

the temperature is too damn low!

image via
School has already been called off for tomorrow in anticipation of the incredibly low temperatures. I've never been one to mind an unexpected day off, but it is seriously, unpleasantly cold. I don't normally like to post about the weather or really even chat about the weather, because I usually feel like there must be something more interesting to talk about, but... damn. This is the biggest news going. In recognition of facing these potentially historically low temperatures, I'm breaking with this personal rule to bring you some tips for braving the polar vortex. (If you haven't heard, 'polar vortex' is seriously the term for this weather event. I thought it was a joke when I first heard it.)

If you are lucky enough, like me, to be able to stay in until this thing blows over:

  • Make sure you have emergency provisions in the event that the power goes out while you're hunkering down. Don't forget about your pets! They need food and clean water, too. 
  • If you're trying to decide between making something for dinner in the oven or on the stove, go for the oven. When your food is done, leave the oven door open so that the residual heat will spread throughout your house and give your heating system a small break.
  • Turn down your thermostat and put on an extra layer or two. Even if you don't have snow or ice in your area, having everyone in town running their auxiliary heat constantly for 24 hours could be enough to overload the system and trigger a power outage, especially if you live in a place that doesn't normally get all that cold in the winter. 
  • Use the weather as an excuse to watch movies, read a book, knit, or do whatever in bed in your pajamas. Nothing is cozier.
If you still have to go to work in the morning:
  • For the love of God, dress warmly. The only thing worse than having to haul in to work in sub-zero temperatures is having to take a sick day so you can go get your possible frostbite checked out.
  • Plan your layering strategically, considering the fact that you may or may not have power at your workplace all day. Don't skimp on layers for your morning commute because you expect the office to be warm.
  • Aim for at least three layers: a warm, synthetic base layer that will wick away any sweat, a thick fleece layer over your base, and a coat that will block as much wind as possible. Don't forget to layer your feet--a pair of synthetic socks topped with a pair of fleece socks with snow shoes or leather shoes should do the trick. And, obviously, you will be wearing a scarf, gloves, and hat, too.
  • If you don't have special outdoor gear, just avoid cotton. If you sweat in cotton, it's going to stay damp, which will only make you feel colder. 
  • If you can, significantly lower your thermostat before you head out for the day. It may or may not help power grids stay online, but I'd much rather come home to a slightly chilly apartment than a freezing apartment with no power.
  • Try not to complain constantly about the weather while you're at work. It's cold. We know. Complaining about it won't make the mercury rise. Instead, daydream about putting on your warmest, comfiest clothes and settling in with a cup of hot cocoa when you get home.

Stay safe out there, friends!

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