The winter months bring us many happy and memorable moments - from spending Christmas and holidays with our families, to taking in snow-covered picturesque streets, to sipping hot cocoa near the fireplace.
While many people love winter time, there are some risks and dangers associated with the cold season. Days are shorter with less sunlight and more darkness. Cold temperatures create desolate static environments. The holidays drive people out of the cities and to vacation spots. And the elements can cause issues with your home, vehicle, and commute.
In this article we will go over some tips to stay safe and prepared during the winter season.
The average sunlight hours per day in December in New York City is 5 hours and 5 minutes, while in June it is 10 hours and 2 minutes. Here is a chart with the average climate in New York throughout the year: https://www.climate.top/usa/new-york/
The winter time brings less sunlight and darker days. More darkness naturally means more cloaks for perpetrators to commit their crimes.
If you finish work at 6 pm, from November to March you will be coming home from work when it's dark out.
There are a few ways that we can prepare for darker days such as:
- Carry a flashlight or make sure the flashlight on your smart phone works.
- Walk down main streets with adequate street lights.
- Plan activities during daylight hours for maximum visibility.
The average temperature in NYC in January is 39 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average temperature in NYC in July is 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
Warmer temperatures encourage more people to be outside, and this provides more bystanders and larger crowds which deter criminal activities. Colder temperatures normally means less people will be out in public and there will be less people to help intervene or call the police if there's a dangerous situation.
Colder temperatures also means that people have to wear more layers of clothing which can deter their senses and awareness like visibility and ability to run away or fight back.
There are a few precautions we can take in order to prepare for cold temperatures and not let them impact our safety and well being such as:
- Be extra aware of your surroundings and regularly check behind you. Don't have your face glued to your phone.
- Wear warm insulating clothing that isn't bulky and restricting so that you can run away or fight back if necessary.
- Wear strong boots or snow shoes so that you have proper footing in case you need to run away or fight back.
Snow and Sleet
The winter elements also create many hazardous conditions when we are out of the house. Snow, sleet, ice, and rain make driving and getting around challenging, and it's always good to be prepared for a winter blizzard.
Tips that we can follow to stay prepared and safe in wintery mix conditions are:
- Winterize your vehicle with checking tires, lights, breaks, fluids, and general maintenance.
- Allocate extra time for traveling and drive slowly.
- Always have a snow/ice remover in your car to clear your windshield before you drive.
- Make sure your windshield wiper fluid is filled and with a deicer to wipe elements out of your windshield while driving.
- Store safety tools like window breakers, seatbelt cutters, flares, flashlights, and self defense weapons in your car's center console.
General Safety Tips
In addition to these winter-specific safety tips, there are general precautions we should follow in our everyday lives that people often overlook such as:
- Always practice situational awareness to observe and evaluate all elements in your environment and act accordingly.
- Maintain good posture and confidence to deter potential threats from even occurring in the first place.
- Distance and barriers are your friend and you should always keep a comfortable distance or barriers between you and strangers.
- Use technology such as GPS tracking apps, calendar scheduling apps, or chat/social apps to track your whereabouts and keep a digital trail.
- Carry basic self defense weapons like a personal alarm, pepper spray, and some type of handheld weapon.
- Learn basic self defense moves like punches, kicks, and how to avoid dangerous situations.
Winter Safety Tips Conclusion
People spend more time indoors during the winter to avoid these increased dangers and hazardous conditions.
When you are outside - either commuting to work, picking up groceries, or hanging out with friends, make sure to follow these extra safety tips and be mindful of your environment.
The winter can be a beautiful and relaxing time to enjoy the scenic tranquility of nature during this time of solitude as long as we can be safe doing so.
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