5 Ways to Survive a Snowstorm | What the Stuff?!

5 Ways to Survive a Snowstorm | What the Stuff?!

If a blizzard is bad enough, snow plows and salt trucks won’t even brave the elements. In this video, we’ll give you 5 tips on how to survive a snowstorm.

Watch More

HowStuffWorks Articles:


Airglow – “Cepheid Disk”
Jahzzar – “Phone Call”

Image attribution:

Kerosene Heater by Douglas P. Perkins / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-Only License)


Brace yourselves. Winter is coming. And no one wants to freeze or starve to death, much less have a heart attack in the middle of a blizzard. Weather may be a powerful force of nature that can hit seemingly out of nowhere and intensify quickly… but human beings have been fighting back since the days of the first men. Here’s some of the best ways we’ve learned to survive snowstorms in all that time.

This one’s simple. Given that we can only live for 3-5 days without water, you want to make sure that your pipes keep running when a storm hits. Water pipes often freeze in temperatures below 20º Fahrenheit. If they’re not already, wrap your interior pipes with foam insulation. And as the temperature drops, leave your faucets running at a slow drip. Also, keep at least 5 gallons of water on hand just in case.

You don’t want to be one of those people stuck in the grocery store as there’s a mad dash for provisions. So stock ahead of time. Make a list of what you’ll need for each member of your home to survive for up to 7 days (or even more if you live in a cold-weather region). Canned and dry foods are best for long-term storage. And don’t forget your pets! Keep extra food for them, too, unless you plan on feeding them canned beans and fruit from your own stash.

We’re so used to modern amenities like electric lights, home heating and mass media that we sometimes forget how easy it is to lose them in a snowstorm. Fill a box with emergency equipment so you’re prepared. Get a flashlight and plenty of batteries in there, as well as a battery-operated radio. If your heating is electric, keep a kerosene heater with enough fuel for a week of use. Or if you use a fireplace, keep a stash of emergency wood on hand.

Before you run out to start shoveling the snow off your driveway or sidewalk, keep in mind that many people die every year from shoveling-induced heart attacks. No joke. Increasing your physical activity immediately isn’t good for your body, so take it slow and steady, and treat yourself to a break when you need it. Also, _never_ shovel after a meal or a cigarette, and always push the snow straight ahead, then to one side so you’re not straining yourself to toss hefty loads.

Frostbite happens when ice crystals form outside your skin cells, dehydrating and killing them. It starts with your fingers, toes and ears. So keep covered with a hat and gloves. If you think you’re affected, move to a warm area and have a doctor do the thawing in a hospital. If that’s not an option, see our original article on surviving a snowstorm on HowStuffWorks.com for the more painful, do-it-yourself method.

What other snowstorm tips do you have for your friends and neighbors? Let us know in the comments below, stay warm and don’t forget to subscribe for more potentially life-changing… or life-saving information!