How to determine the beginning of a snowstorm
The Ministry of Emergency Situations warns people about the possible beginning of a snowstorm by SMS. If the notification has not arrived, you can navigate by external signs. Most often, before a blizzard, there is a snow haze — this is when there are too many snowflakes in the air, and therefore visibility is not very good. There may be no wind at the same time.
What kind of snowstorm can there be
Very different. Classification helps to understand the threat of bad weather and how it can change. The fact is that the snowfall often ends with a grass—roots blizzard, and that, in turn, is a general one.
- The snowstorm is the slowest blizzard, its speed is only 5-6 meters per second. There is no snowfall, the snow is carried by the wind 0.5–2 meters above the ground. So visibility is maintained.
- With a grass-roots blizzard, the wind speed can reach 9 meters per second. The snow rises several meters above the ground, the horizon is not visible.
- The general blizzard is characterized by wind at a speed of 10 meters per second. There is a lot of snow, the sky is not visible. And in general, nothing is visible at a distance of several tens of meters.
Until it comes to a general snowstorm, you don't have to worry too much. But if you are out of town, it's better to hurry up to get to a good shelter. As soon as the blizzard breaks up, it will be necessary to act quickly.
What to do if you got caught in a snowstorm while walking
First of all, find shelter as soon as possible. No matter what it will be, anything will do. If there is nothing nearby, proceed as follows:
- Avoid pits and ravines. They will be covered with snow, and this is dangerous for you.
- Contact your friends and inform them of your location. Also call the Ministry of Emergency Situations and ask for help.
- If you run out of strength, stop. Otherwise, you can lose your orientation or arrange a necessary halt in a dangerous place.
- Sit in the dry snow with your back to the wind. Put on all the things that are at hand. Take the longest stick you can find in your hand. A snow capsule will form around you, which will help you escape from frostbite.
- If you feel that any part of the body has started to frostbite, rub it with a cloth until sensitivity returns.
What to do if you are caught in a general snowstorm in the car
Here, too, we must try to find a place where we can wait out the bad weather. A house, a hotel or even a gas station — it's better not to take risks and stop as soon as possible. If you are on the highway and there is nothing nearby:
- Inform your relatives and friends about your location and intended route.
- Move on the big roads and highways. If the car breaks down, you can ask other drivers for help.
- Slow down the speed. Otherwise, you may not notice a car or a person on the road.
- Turn on the headlights so that other drivers can see your car.
- If you had to stop, open the window so as not to be poisoned by carbon monoxide.
- Do not go far from the car, it should always be in sight.
What to do if a serious snowstorm finds you at home
If you live in a large city, you should not worry. But if you are in a private house in some village, it is better to prepare.
- Close the doors, vents, windows. If there are shutters, use them. Or strengthen the windows by sticking paper ribbons criss‑cross on them.
- Remove things from the balcony and window sills.
- Prepare a supply of food, water and essential medicines. This can be done if the blizzard is just beginning, and the store and pharmacy are near the house.
- Follow the news. This way you will learn not only about the weather, but also about possible water or electricity outages.
- Do not go outside unless absolutely necessary. If you still need to get out, warn family members or friends about the proposed movements.