Shop Windows to the Universe

Science, Evolution, and Creationism, by the National Academies, focuses on teaching evolution in today's classrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store.
These images show: a blizzard, a radar image of a blizzard, driving conditions during a blizzard, and a weather radio.
Images Courtesy of: National Weather Service Forecast Office of La Crosse, WI/ Chris Bergeson, NOAA, and National Weather Service Forecast Office of Central Illinois/ Lawrence Estep

Blizzard Safety

Winter storms and blizzards can create difficult conditions whether you are at home or on the road. Being prepared is always the safest precaution. A NOAA Weather Radio or local news station can provide information on any watches, warnings, or advisories within your area.

Everyone should stay indoors during a blizzard. A loss of electrical power could occur so have flashlights available as well as heat sources that do not require electrical power. Proper ventilation when using alternative heat sources is necessary. Everyone should consolidate to a few rooms in the house or office in order to stay warm. Every door should have a towel or rag shoved underneath to avoid losing heat to the other rooms or from cold air getting into the central location. Foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking should be on hand.

Before the winter season starts, automobiles should be checked out by a mechanic because the winter weather conditions can be difficult on your vehicle. It is also a way to make sure all components especially those needed for winter travel are in working order. Blizzards are extremely dangerous to travel in especially during whiteout conditions. It is best to avoid travel if at all possible during these conditions.

Traveling during daylight is important as nighttime can make it difficult to see ice on the roadways. It is dangerous to travel alone thus a family member or friend should ride along during your trip. Warm clothing including loose fitting, layered, light weight clothing should be worn if traveling during storm conditions. This type of clothing is worn to stay warm but also to be able to move easily. Food and water are also important to have in the vehicle when traveling in this season just in case you get stuck in your car for a period of time. Make sure you have a windshield scraper with a small broom in the car during the winter months for ice and snow removal.

If you get stuck in your car during a blizzard, here are some key tips. Only leave your vehicle if you are traveling within 100 visible yards. For ten minutes every hour, turn on the carís engine. While you are doing this, run the heater to keep warm. The exhaust should be cleared from snow to protect from carbon monoxide, and a downwind window should be opened for ventilation. It is important to look for any signs of hypothermia or frostbite for everyone in the vehicle. Try to move your arm and legs especially your hands and feet every so often to keep good circulation.

Last modified July 22, 2008 by Vanessa Pearce.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earthís ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store.

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

The Four Seasons

The Earth travels around the sun one full time per year. During this year, the seasons change depending on the amount of sunlight reaching the surface and the Earth's tilt as it revolves around the sun....more

Carbon Monoxide - CO

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas. It is also flammable and is quite toxic to humans and other oxygen-breathing organisms. A molecule of carbon monoxide (CO) contains one carbon atom...more

History of Large Blizzards of North America

During the winter months, blizzards are common in the northern parts of North America. Some of the largest blizzard events that have hit this area of the United States and Canada are described below. On...more

Rainbows

Rainbows appear in the sky when there is bright sunlight and rain. Sunlight is known as visible or white light and is actually a mixture of colors. Rainbows result from the refraction and reflection of...more

Research Aircraft

Scientists sometimes travel in specially outfitted airplanes in order to gather data about atmospheric conditions. These research aircraft have special inlet ports that bring air from the outside into...more

Anemometer

An anemometer is a weather instrument used to measure the wind (it can also be called a wind gauge). Anemometers can measure wind speed, wind direction, and other information like the largest gust of wind...more

Thermometer

Thermometers measure temperature. "Thermo" means heat and "meter" means to measure. You can use a thermometer to measure the temperature of many things, including the temperature of...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA