By BILLY N. FORCEY, Staff Meteorologist and former Boy Scout
Raleigh (and the rest of the state, presumably) are currently covered in ice, snow, and either sleet or freezing rain, which are apparently two different things. The weather is not only a headache for commuters but it can also be a danger to those spending too much time outdoors, indoors, or listening to the Doors. Here are a few health and safety tips to keep in mind this winter season:
- If you watched The Martian, you know that urine can be used to create fuel. To retain heat in your house, pee frequently into the heat pump or furnace.
- Ice can create hazards on roadways and cause cars to slide onto the shoulder. Use centrifugal force to your advantage by spinning your car in circles when driving.
- Black ice is considered extremely dangerous, but this is a skewed perception perpetuated by media bias. Black ice is statistically no more hazardous than white ice.
- Frostbite can appear within minutes. Alcohol makes you feel warm and tingly, and therefore is your best defense against frostbite.
- Buy an old house in Mordecai or Oakwood where the faucets drip constantly so your pipes won’t burst.
- Cars have become far safer in recent years. Hitting a car is obviously preferable to hitting telephone poles, which have not become safer in recent years. Decreasing your following distance is mandatory in icy conditions to avoid hitting telephone poles.
- Shoveling snow can be hard on your heart. Plenty of lonely elderly people would love to have a purpose and some human contact. Practice heart safety for yourself and a sense of connectedness for senior citizens by having one of them shovel your driveway.
- Space heaters need to be at least three feet from anything that can catch fire. Chaining ten or more extension cords together can achieve this goal.
- Carbon monoxide detectors make a horrible sound and can scare the hell out of you at 3am. Be sure to turn them off before going to bed.
- Glenn Fletcher, a safe driving instructor in Holly Springs, advises: “Fill your wiper fluid and check the nozzles it comes out of to make sure they’re clear. Drive with a full tank of gas in case you get stuck or in an accident. Check your headlights, tail lights and brake lights, and make sure all the lenses are clean and clear. Use the penny test on your treads. Then after you’ve checked all that, stay your ass at home.”