As the temperatures are dropping, the cold is beginning to get dangerous. While resource centers are expanding their capacity for those who are in need of shelter, it’s also important for those who have adequate shelter to take reasonable precautions when venturing out in code blue weather.
What Is Code Blue Weather?
Normally, when we think of “code blue” we think of someone who has gone into cardiac arrest. However, when we’re talking about the weather, code blue means something completely different. A code blue is issued when the National Weather Service predicts that the temperatures will drop to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, or lower. Per Utah law, resource centers are now required to offer additional occupancy. This helps ensure that those who are unhoused or are unable to get to their residence, are not left out in the cold where temperatures could cause injury or death. While dangerously cold weather disproportionately effects the unhoused population, being at the wrong place at the wrong time can have serious consequences when there’s dangerously cold weather.
When you’re traveling in the cold weather, it’s important to have adequate clothing, even if you aren’t getting out of the car, or are only getting out of the car for short periods. If your car stops working, or you get into an accident, you may be left out in the cold until help arrives. Depending on the location and the weather conditions, you may be in the cold for a significant amount of time. Frostbite can happen in a matter of minutes, especially when windchill is considered. If you’re travelling to a particularly cold place, it’s important to make sure that you’re dressed for the journey there—even if it’s just a car ride away. Not only should you have a jacket, coat, gloves, scarf, hat, and earmuffs, you should also have shoes that are waterproof if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow.
Consider Working from Home
Thanks to the global pandemic of 2020, working at home is more possible (and common) than it’s ever been. If there are dangerous weather conditions, or dangerous weather conditions are predicted, it may be a good idea to consider working from home. Now that winter is effectively here, most people are driving to and from work in the dark and, depending on where you are located, many commuters may be driving to work before the plows come out. Not all places have plows that come out the second the snow begins falling, especially when the snow is falling late at night. If you know that there’s a good chance your morning commute will be filled with snow, it may be a good idea to see if you can work from home.
Plan around the Weather
The Holiday season arrived with the winter weather. Lots of people are planning their travels to spend the holidays with their loved ones. When you’re planning your trip, make sure you’re considering what the weather will be like to and from your loved one’s homes. Also, it’s important to consider the difference between a winter weather warning, and a winter weather advisory. Although both should be considered when making travel arrangements, a winter weather advisory is generally less serious. Winter weather advisories indicate that there’s a possibility that dangerous weather conditions could occur. On the other hand, winter storm warnings generally mean that such weather conditions are very likely going to happen.
Make Sure You’re Prepared
Not too many winters ago, people in Virginia were left stranded on the road for 24 hours after the highway was shut down due to weather conditions. It’s always a good idea to check road conditions before you head out. If the weather is predicted to be particularly extreme, it may be a good idea to stay home. However, there’s always a possibility that you could be caught in the wrong place in the wrong time. Of course, you should make sure that you have a first aid kit. But, since becoming trapped on the road is a possibility, it’s a good idea to also have water and non-perishable food items in your car in case of emergency.
Moxie Law Group Cares
At Moxie Law Group, we’re dedicated to providing our communities with the resources and education they need to stay safe and avoid injury. If you’d like to help those in need stay safe during code blue weather, you can donate to the Lantern House. While the Lantern House is currently accepting coats and blankets, they also need basic supplies such as canned fruits and vegetables, and travel sized hygiene items.