Winter Storm Informaton

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Stalled... But Safe

What to Wear - The Layer System

The layer system described here is what you should use when you are stranded in a vehicle with little or no additional heat for warmth. These materials should be kept available in the vehicle throughout the winter months as survival gear. Residents and visitors of the Upper Midwest states should take this seriously; it can mean life or death!

LAYER ONE -- Long underwear; choose cotton-lined wools or blends, or mesh. All cotton underwear is less warm. Wear one pair of cotton socks under two pair of wool socks.

LAYER TWO -- Long-sleeved turtle neck sweater or wool shirt and a coat or V-neck sweater and wool pants.

LAYER THREE -- A jacket or parka with a wind proof, water resistant (it must breathe) outer layer. The insulating material can be fiberfill, downfill, or other insulating material. The liner or inner layer should be comfortable. Alternating quilt stitching should be used to prevent cold seams and spots. The jacket or parka should have a hood (snorkel type preferred). Insulated pants of the same construction should be worn also. A long coat is warmer than a car coat. A two-piece snowmobile suit with bib-type pants is warmer than an all-in-one. Long sleeves can cover your mittened or gloved hands for another layer. High necks should be selected as well as raglan sleeves, storm flaps over buttons, zippers, pockets, and belts.

LAYER FOUR -- Sleeping bags designed for winter use. Summer weight sleeping bags do not have the insulating capacity but will be better than none at all. Several blankets, including a reflective space blanket, are another option.

It is essential to wear a cap or hat since most of your body heat lost is lost through your head. Wearing a hat will keep your hands and feet warmer since that heat will not be lost through the head. The choice of hat is yours, but it should be insulated and fully cover the head and preferably the ears. A balaclava is an excellent choice since it can be worn rolled up like a conventional stocking cap or rolled down for full-face protection. A warm, knit scarf is good for the neck and can be worn across the face for good protection. Wool is warmer than synthetic, but if it isn't comfortable, it won't be worn; wear what is comfortable to you.

Sunglasses are not just for the summer. Sunlight reflected from the snow can be blinding. Sunglasses will reduce the glare and protect against snow-blindness. Select gray or green lenses. Orange and yellow lenses may increase the strain on your eyes, use with caution.

Use lip balm, hand lotion, or frost-protective cream to prevent chapped skin and lips.

Other individual needs must be met also. For families, don't forget such things as diapers and other sanitary needs. An infant with soiled diapers and no replacements available can be big trouble in no time.

Photo of clothing to bring along.

Clothing To Bring Along - Winter coats or parkas, balaclava, insulated gloves, stocking cap, insulated footwear, heavy socks, sleeping bag or quilts.
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