Tips for Dramatic Winter Weather Challenges

This year, locations all over the Northern Hemisphere have experienced dramatic winter weather. High snowfall, strong winds, and dramatic shifts in temperature over short periods of time have made winter unusually challenging for people in many locales.

Here are some tips for weathering wild winters:

1. Take time to assess agility.
Just as it is important to consider preferences and experiences when you are in a cross-cultural environment, it is also important to do this when your overall experience of seasons is different from the climate you are in. For example, an American Midwesterner visiting the United Kingdom should be aware that a blizzard that deposits six inches of snow presents a number of challenges to local infrastructures. They should try to keep any frustration or impatience in check. Those from moderate climates who face harsher weather can seek out advice from locals – often, they are happy to oblige!

2. Store items where you will actually need them.
While it may be a great idea to keep an ice scraper in your car, keeping a second one in your home or garage can be useful with a cold car that has become encased in ice overnight. Snow shovels, sand, salt, car starters, and even extra outerwear are just some of the other winter items for which to consider best placement, and possibly even duplicating.

3. Plan ahead to prevent panic.
Even experienced winter warriors deal with the unexpected. Buying a supply of staple items, such as shelf-stable foods, toiletries, and other items, can help you avoid pre-storm crowded markets. Charge electronics you may need, such as lights, telephones, and radios, in advance. Pay ongoing attention to forecasts, and know what you will do in the event that weather prevents travel at a time when it is usually needed.

4. Remember that all water can cause winter woes.
Snow, ice and water may all consist of H2O, but each form presents unique challenges in winter. Snow can hide objects on the ground, making it easier to trip or run over them. Ice can mean damage to many things, including cars, homes, and power lines. Water can cause flooding and also buckle road pavement. In addition to keeping an eye on forecasts for storms, watch for rapidly plummeting and soaring temperatures.

Written by Erin Fitzgerald, GMS, Content Manager