Stay warm and prepare for this year’s freezing winter

Natalya Nalivaiko, Reporter

Has anyone ever seen KC this cold? It’s been below freezing for more than a week and the wind chill has been around -20 degrees!

These are record cold temperatures in the KC area, so locals and students who aren’t from around alike here may want some winter tips to stay warm. This is even more important since we may be at risk of losing power.

First of all, make sure you have lots of layers to wear. Being in warm and loose clothing will help seal all of your body heat in, which is exactly what you need.

If you have a fireplace, light it up and keep a fire going, especially if there’s no power. You and your roommates should all stay in one room and close the doors to other rooms in your house or apartment in order to keep the heat flowing in one room.

Make sure your phones and computers are charged and ensure your flashlights have working batteries. If your power goes out in the middle of the night, you’ll definitely want to be prepared.

What if it’s so cold that your water stops working and your water pipes freeze?

To prevent that, leave a faucet on or two, letting it slightly drip in order to keep water moving through your pipes. Another thing you can do in preparation for your water not working is filling up a bathtub with water. Why? If you do, you can grab a bucket and use the water to flush your toilets; you definitely want to keep that luxury!

Now let’s say you need to drive somewhere out in the snow and cold. Grab an extra blanket from your room to keep in your car, just in case. If you got stuck somewhere and your car died or heat stopped working, it’s always good to have some extra warmth.

When you are driving and hit a patch of ice or anything slick, don’t slam on your brakes. You’ll slide right off the road. Instead, drive slowly, with caution, and when you need to stop in a hurry, pump your breaks. This means to break over and over again, pushing the pedal down and letting off again multiple times. This will help slow down your car and will be less of a risk for you to slide out of control.

After you get back safely to your home, check to see how much gas you have. It’s best to have a full tank or at least a quarter of a tank of gas when the weather is this cold. If you’re on E, condensation can form in the tank and cause it to freeze when it sits outside for a long time, which is not good for your car. Also, you’ll want lots of gas to keep your car running and you warm if you were to be stranded somewhere in the negative temperatures.

While this frigid spell won’t last forever, winter isn’t over in Kansas City for a while. Use these tips to keep yourself warm and comfortable, especially in the bitter cold.