In Portland, surviving this out of ordinary weather can sometimes be a trick. Portland metro isn’t used to below freezing temps for extended periods of time, and neither are the residents. When a snow and ice storm hits, as it is doing now, you have to get creative about keeping sane, but also stay smart about keeping safe and warm.
Cold weather can be deceiving, if it’s not wet or snowy, but extremely cold, you may not prepare correctly for your day. Think of the arctic, all those movies with people covering their faces, do that! Keep the air you breathe in nice and warm, filter it through a scarf! You can easily freeze your throat or lungs if you breathe in cold air too long.
Stay dry and keep extra socks with you. Your feet (and head) are the gateway to your body warmth, if they are wet from a snowy walk, or sweaty feet, change your socks and keep them dry! A warm winter cap or beanie will keep your head toasty, but if you sweat, keep that hat on, the moisture can really get cold fast!
Keep candles, matches, flashlights, bottle water, canned fruit and can opener close by if power goes out. If you have a gas fireplace, turn that on before you lose power because they usually have an electric starter. Layers and blankets are the better option for keeping warm if you lose power, as well as all sleeping in the same room.
Remind yourself where your water shutoff is for the house in case a pipe breaks. Make sure your pipes and spigots are covered and insulated. Every home inspector I have talked to says not to close your crawlspace vents unless it gets very cold, in the teens. Other than that, you will have a moisture issue if you keep it closed.
If you know anyone unfortunate enough to be without housing at all this season, in Washington County there are day warming centers and limited space at cold weather centers for night. Below is a link to cold weather shelters in Washington county. Please share!
If you are in the Tigard area and know of someone in need, please call me at 503-218-3838 and I can direct them to the closest severe weather center for night and day center.
The Tigard police have also been coordinating help for those who need it as well.