How do you control your comfort if you have lost power in a Hurricane now a Superstorm like Sandy? Insulation is key for comfort and warmth, so dressing in layers is important. That said, we are not looking to dress up like a marshmallow. The point is to take a multi-layered approach to staying warm.
A damp cold is colder and affects the body faster than just a dry cold. We can’t control the weather, but we can control how we respond appropriately to inclement conditions. The number one rule is to start with a base layer that provides wicking ability. The sports enthusiasts know this means silk, cotton, and polypropylene.
If you lose power, add more thin layers.
Think of multi-layer dressing as a chocolate dipped piece of pound cake, you get better with each layer! However, be careful that you don’t get so hot that you melt in the process! Also, don’t try to get insulated in one step, which might make you overheat.
The purpose of the thin layers is to act as a thermostat that allows you to add and subtract layers to maintain your comfort level.
- Layer one as a gentle body hug. Start with your feet and work your way up. The thin inner layer should be soft, wickable and breathable. It should fit snug but not tight. In fact, it should be a layer that is more like a second skin, meaning, you shouldn’t feel it.
For additional personal comfort be sure to add a healthy dose of body lotion in your favorite fragrance, you are still entitled to a treat even during a weather event. It will even help to calm as you massage it into your skin.
- Layer two is your second hug. This layer is your mid-layer which creates an insulating layer, you can wear a turtleneck, sweater or an fleece/or boiled wool shirt. Whatever you choose make sure that you are comfortable. You can layer a few light garments if you want additional warmth or add vest over the sweater to keep your core warm.
- Layer three is your third hug. If you need to go outside be sure this layer has the waterproof covering to block out the wind and rain.
You can always add a heavy down coat if you need the thicker layers for warmth, just be sure to remove and wear only as many layers as you need. If you over heat you will sweat and then you may get cold.
If you do get wet be sure remove all wet apparel, dry off and start with new dry clothing.
Put on a light knit cap if you have one. Remember, winter is just around the corner. This is especially important if you have small infants, this is time to add the cotton knit hat back to the wardrobe. One reason newborn infants always wear the knit hat is to keep them from losing heat through their heads.
If you hands are cold, wear gloves.
Another important factor is to stay in contact with family and friends. Conserve the power of your cell phone. Call if you have to, but it is far better to text. It lets friends and families know you’re ok while using much less power.
And let us not forget our furry companions! For those of us with pets, you might have heard of the thunder vest. It is a garment that wraps the core of the canine and provides comfort as well as a calming effect like a gentle continuous hug.
For most of us in the U.S., we are currently looking at the largest storm of the century and some have named it Frankenstorm. Hurricanes are threatening enough, but what is significant about Sandy is that it is a combination of a hurricane and a winter storm, creating what is generally referred to as a Nor’easter. Snow began falling in parts of Virginia, and the storm has now made landfall.
The storm is raging outside even as your correspondent is writing this story. So, keep plenty of layers of clothing around to make sure you are able to maintain your comfort level. Stay dry, and don’t venture out unless you have to!
Take care friends and stay safe.