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How to Stay Safe During a Blizzard

December 22, 2022

Categories: Press Release,

Navy SEAL cold weather expert shares pro tips for blizzard safety for commuters and travelers. 

Lebanon, N.H. – December 22, 2022 – A seasonal blizzard is moving across the U.S. with heavy snow and extremely cold temperatures forecast. Extreme weather expert and former Navy SEAL Harding Bush knows staying safe during is blizzard can be tricky when you’re at home, and more challenging when you are traveling.  

“Prepare ahead of the storm whenever possible. You could be snowed in for a few days,” said Bush, the manager of operations at Global Rescue and a former Navy SEAL with extensive mountain and cold weather operations expertise. He has developed multiple training programs for ski mountaineering and cold-weather survival. 

Bush lists his top pro tips to remain safe during a blizzard.  

The Top 5 Blizzard Safety Tips  

  1. Stay Inside – If possible, avoid driving and other travel until conditions have improved. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for updated emergency information. 
  1. Stay Charged – Charge your cell phone, laptop and any backup power sources. Have extra batteries on hand for radios and flashlights.   
  1. Dress Appropriately – Wear the right clothing, with multiple layers and proper footwear, to keep you warm and dry. Do your research before purchasing outerwear; garments should be tightly woven and water-repellent. If anything gets wet or sweaty, change clothing to prevent loss of body heat.   
  1. Pack Your Car – Commuter pro tip. There’s usually enough warning for a blizzard, but if you missed the weather forecast, make sure your car has an emergency kit for snow situations. A lot of people commute to work and are not dressed for winter. Keep extra layers in your car. It doesn’t take much to throw a parka, wool hat, warm waterproof mittens and winter boots in the back seat or trunk of your car. If you have a longer commute, keep hand and foot warmers in the glove box and a sleeping bag or blanket, a shovel, jumper cables and a tow strap, in addition to a brush and ice scraper in the trunk.  
  1. Know the Signs – Know how your body loses heat and know what to do to stay warm. Also, learn the early signs of frostbite and hypothermia, how to prevent it and how to treat it. 

Bonus Top 8 Backcountry Tips  

If you’re trapped by a blizzard while hiking, skiing, climbing, snowboarding or camping in the backcountry, it’s a different story. There’s no way to limit your time outside, but there are ways to ensure survival. Keep these eight blizzard survival tips in mind if you’re traveling in snowy destinations: 

  1. Stay calm. Stop and think about what resources you have, observe your surroundings and orient yourself with landmarks and plan. Field & Stream offers a snow survival quiz.    
  1. Stay hydrated to ensure your extremities are receiving warm, oxygenated blood. Learn more about frostbite and hypothermia and the warning signs here.   
  1. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from sub-zero temperature air. If you have a pre-existing condition, like asthma or bronchitis, the cold, dry air may irritate your airways. If you do not have a scarf, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. 
  1. Wiggle your fingers and toes, clap your hands and flex your arms. These small movements and stretches will keep circulation moving. Try not to break a sweat as wet clothes absorb body heat. 
  1. Build a shelter if you can’t hike (or ski) to safety. Use snow or whatever materials are available to build a shelter or make a lean-to. Even huddling under the low-hanging branches of a tree will provide some protection from the elements. 
  1. Insulate yourself from the cold ground. Always pack an insulated ground pad. Sit on your backpack if you don’t have a pad. Sitting or sleeping directly on the snowy ground will also rob you of body heat.  
  1. Melt snow before eating it. Eating un-melted snow will reduce your core temperature and put you at risk for hypothermia. Use a portable stove and small pot for melting snow or boiling water in the backcountry during winter. You should also have the ability to start a small fire for warming, melting snow and signaling for help. 
  1. FEMA offers additional advice on how to plan for a blizzard on their website, including this Winter Storm Info Sheet. 

“Being proactive and preparing for a forecasted blizzard could mean the difference between a safe experience or being trapped in a dangerous situation out of your control,” Bush said. 

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For more information contact Bill McIntyre at bmcintyre@globalrescue.com or +1 (202) 560-1195. 

About Global Rescue    

Global Rescue is the world’s leading provider of medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services to enterprises, governments and individuals. Founded in 2004, Global Rescue has exclusive relationships with the Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine Division of Special Operations and Elite Medical Group. Global Rescue provides best-in-class services that identify, monitor and respond to client medical and security crises. Global Rescue has provided medical and security support to its clients, including Fortune 500 companies, governments and academic institutions, during every globally significant crisis of the last two decades. For more information, visit www.globalrescue.com.  


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