Tips for facing the chilling Birmingham weather

The first day of spring is just around the corner, believe it or not. March 20 — that’s less than a month away — and we all hope it will bring some warmer temperatures. In the meantime, whether walking to the office, to class, to your car or anywhere else you may find yourself needing to go, braving the cold can be quite a feat.

How can you more effectively brace yourself for the arctic tundra that has taken over Birmingham? As much as we might try, we can’t hide inside forever, so here are a few cold weather survival tips.

  1. I have one word for you: layers. Most of us are struggling because our Southern wardrobes are not adequately equipped for winter of any kind. So, my suggestion? Put on all of your clothes at the same time. I hear the Michelin Man look is trending.
  2. Speaking of layers, wear a hat. Most of your body heat escapes from your head. You want to trap as much of that heat in your body as possible.
  3. Don’t crank up the heat too high. Going from one extreme to the other when you have to go outside makes the cold feel that much colder. I’m not saying you need to live in an igloo, but don’t blast the heat in your car or your home to the point of creating a sauna. It will make the cold that much more unbearable when you inevitably have to go somewhere.
  4. Beware of hypothermia and frostbite. All joking aside, those are real concerns. Know the signs and symptoms, and know how to handle them. Jack Frost goes for your fingers and toes first, so keep them warm!
  5. Always be prepared when you get in the car to go somewhere. You never know when you may get a flat tire or have car trouble. If you have to walk to get help or sit in the cold until help comes, you don’t want to turn into a Popsicle. Consider keeping some warm clothes in your car: warm socks, sturdy shoes, gloves, coat, hat, scarf and any other winter clothing you can find (refer to tip #2).