There is nothing that fills a South Carolinian with more childlike wonder and overwhelming anxiety than a good snow storm. It seems like the perfect weather to just cut off the rest of the world by staying inside under a blanket or a makeshift cushion fort (password protected. For the yetis). The fear that many citizens have concerning snow has become a bit of a joke among South Carolinians and out-of-staters alike, so some may tend to cut corners when it comes to safety measures. Actions that require just a bit more mindfulness could be glozed over to the misfortune of the scoffing snow expert. Grab a couple pieces of that white bread you purchased in bulk (though toilet paper would have been a more reasonable resource) and grab a tall glass of that 2% milk (or whole milk if you like to live on the edge) and we’ll get into some helpful tips to stay sane during the winter weather days. Anxiety can be a good thing because there is a difference between knowledgeable readiness and full on panic, board-up-your-windows-this-is-perfect-yeti-weather.
- Show your faucets that you love them. If you don’t do anything else for your home over the weekend, please consider running your faucets so that the pipes do not bust open like a carnival cannon loaded up with a slightly overweight clown. Open the cabinets and let the air circulate. While you’re at it, give the pipes one big hug in appreciation for all the work they do for you year-round. If this is an inconvenient option, consider placing insulation sleeves on the pipes to keep them toasty. This is especially important for exposed pipe in the basement.
- Perform a few easy tasks to keep your home warmer. I don’t often think about how you can reverse the direction of your ceiling fan. You find yourself absentmindedly staring at the switch sometimes, a weird cut out space on the otherwise smooth surface of the device. It’s just one of those details that floats in and out like nothing, but could work wonders in keeping your home a tad warmer. You may also want to close the vents on the outside of your home.
- Maybe consider cleaning the gutter? I can feel all the hypothetical booing and hissing through the computer screen. Clean the gutters? Its freezing and it’s going to be more freezing tomorrow! You may have been putting it off, secretly hoping that a regiment of trained squirrels (organized by members of their own species) develop sympathetic tendencies and vow to give back to the community that provided all that bread in their time of need. These squirrels see all the humans flocking to buy loaves of moist, fluffy goodness and they see a little bit of themselves. They clear out your gutters, repair that damage they did to your attic, and, while they were at it, composed a bossa nova for you to enjoy with your whole (I mean 2%) milk. Anyway, the gutters might freeze over with junk so it may be worthwhile spending an hour or two the day before the snowfall.
- Reduce or eliminate your need to travel. In the best scenario, you purchase everything in advanced so that you are ready to crawl into bed and wait out the chaos outside, but this isn’t always realistic. The Palmetto State has a reputation for rain around times when it has snowed, so the roads are notoriously icy. At the same time, many in the state have little to no training in how to deal with rough, icy, snowy conditions. Do yourself a favor and, at this exact moment, save the phone number of the towing company that your insurance recommends. In case you are stranded in the blanket of white, this could be extremely valuable as getting stuck or having your car break down does become a bit more dangerous in such a cold environment. Consider placing a bag of sand in your trunk in case you do get stuck in the snow. Pouring a little behind the wheel may provide enough traction to get free.
Safety is a state of mind and anxiety is not your enemy. It’s alright to feel nervous in these situations, as that is your body’s survival instinct, but the problem isn’t as mean and menacing if you tackle it with care and understanding. Stay safe and keep warm, from the Mobile Attic!