Well, if it weren't life-threatening, I'd be laughing about that opening line, but being that a lot of people are still unemployed, under-employed, simply do not have the funding to heat their living quarters, or are outright homeless - it's no laughing matter.
Please, everybody, be SAFE in trying to keep warm!!! Below are a few tips (and links to websites) to help you stay warm and safe. PLEASE READ it thoroughly, in case you have forgotten any of it; it could save your life, or the life of another! I really do care about all of you, and don't want anyone to suffer loss - be it loss of life, limb, pet, home, etc.
- First, and foremost, please CHECK ON FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS, AND CO-WORKERS to ensure they have whatever necessary to stay warm. A lot of people are very proud and do not like to admit that they cannot afford to heat their home or purchase necessary clothing or linens - especially (older) family members. If you think someone is having difficulty, consider asking them over for the evening. If you want to help them save face, you could say you want to kick off the New Year with a little get-together, and play board games or charades, or just have popcorn and watch movies (shameless plug: Crafting is always a great excuse!). Whatever it takes; just remember to take care of others, as you would want other people to check on and take care of you.
- To help someone who is actually homeless, offer them a ride to a local shelter (if not your own house), or give them any of the following: a sweater, coat, hat, scarf, blanket, sheets, socks, mittens, shoes, or the little instant hand-warmers sold at places like Dollar Stores and Sports Stores.
- Drink hot liquids, like tea, coffee, cocoa, or soup, to keep your insides warm.
- Snuggle with your kids, pets, or (gasp!) even your spouse! LOL!
- Dance, do jumping jacks, jump rope (clear furniture away first!), or do other exercises. Maybe even have a scavenger hunt; it'll not only keep everyone moving, but it will keep people in a more light-hearted mood and the close quarters won't make tempers flare as quickly (a sad side-effect of too many people in a cramped space under stressful conditions.)
- Watch funny shows on TV, or play funny games: laughing helps keeps you warm!
- Here is a link to FEMA's Winter Fire Safety page. It has individual links for more in-depth information that is most relative to YOUR situation.
- Keep all flammable objects (especially clothing, linens, blankets, paper items) FAR from heat source (heater, fireplace, candle, etc.). Placing a crib/bed/chair closer to keep warmer is more dangerous than it is worth! Use layering (see below), and maintain a safe distance.
- Layering lighter-weight items traps air in between, providing greater insulation and warmth.
- Layers of newspaper are actually warming, too!
- Keep heat source at floor level, as heat rises UPWARDS.
- Most ceiling fans have a button (usually next to the pull chain) to reverse the direction of air flow, and send warmer air back downwards. (Keep ceiling fan on LOW so it doesn't cool the just-warmed air!) Here's a link to the info from GoodHousekeeping.com on REVERSING CEILING FAN AIR FLOW FOR WINTER.
- OPEN the flue whenever using a fireplace.
- Only burn recommended items in a fireplace - NEVER plastics or trash! (Click here for more in-depth FIREPLACE SAFETY from FEMA.)
- Here's an awesome article from Wikipedia on HOW TO STAY WARM WITHOUT USING A HEATER.
- This is another article, from eHow.com, on 3 WAYS TO STAY WARM AT HOME WITHOUT A HEATER.
- If you have pets, this article from VetStreet.com helps you KEEP OUTDOOR PETS WARM. (Here's another great one from them on WALKING THE DOG IN WINTER.)
- This article from HubPages.com tells you specifically HOW TO KEEP OUTDOOR CATS WARM IN WINTER.
- There is more (different) info in this article from PetPlace.com; although it says it is for 'Pets', it seems more specifically written for dogs. Either way, it has very valuable information: 10 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR PET WARM THIS WINTER.
My love and blessings to you all,