How to not freeze to death and die.

Candice Shea Maxwell
3 min readFeb 16, 2021

Recent weather incidents across the country have led me to realize that a lot of my friends and family are not prepared for the cold. And why should they be? Texas doesn’t get snow! All across the country, people are suffering from cold, snow, ice, and loss of power.

I live in West Virginia, and while our weather isn’t terrifying like it is in places like Colorado, we are possibly the most prepared state for when shit hits the fan. To be clear, I do not mean we have more resources or a swift-moving government. I mean that if there was a zombie break out you’d be really safe in a holler.

I know it is probably a little late to run through cold weather survival advice, but if we think what happened in Texas won’t happen again we are morons, so let’s get prepared!

  1. If the temperature gets close to going below 30, you may want to leave a faucet or two on at a light stream. This keeps the pipes from freezing, which can then explode. Not fun. If you go on a trip or you aren’t home much and you know it’s going to be super cold, do this so you don’t come home to a scary wet nightmare.
  2. If you lose power and it is snowy outside, put your perishables like milk in a cooler and stick it down in the snow to keep it fresh. Don’t have a cooler? Just put it in the snow…maybe some zip lock bags or foil?
  3. Keep your fishtanks away from exterior walls! Not only will cold kill fish, but the water can freeze! I have seen so many frozen fishtanks on Tik Tok this winter.
  4. Buy yourself some safety emergency items and keep them in a tote like candles, hand crank flashlight/phone charger, extra blankets, matches, hot hand packs, flashlights, and non-perishable food. More expensive items are gas heaters, rechargeable hand warmers, backup generators, and oil lanterns.
  5. An old-school corded phone hooked up to a landline still works in a power outage. Cordless phones do not work for this.
  6. Shut down the house, close all the doors, and group together in one room to preserve heat. This works great with a heater when it’s super cold and is best practice when you lose power during cold weather.
  7. Do Not drink alcohol when it is super cold, especially if you have no power. It may seem like a fun way to pass the time and at first, you will feel warm, but alcohol actually lowers your core temperature and causes dehydration, which no one needs during a crisis.
  8. BUNDLE UP. Still cold in your blanket haven? Wiggle around and drag your feet up and down the bed or surface. This builds friction which will warm the space around you.

My best advice? Be prepared, stay calm, check on your neighbors, and use this as an excuse to nap. Keep bundled up, play a chill game or read a book, and move only to eat or pee. Oh, and keeping some pre-charged battery packs around the house is wise.

Stay warm and safe folks!



Candice Shea Maxwell

“And if I see you, how it changes me. And if you see me, how it changes you.” — Andrew Bird