Yippee, the day has come when you can retire and move to that hot, arid climate. No more snow, no more shoveling, no more ice and sleet. How lucky you are to find a new location to live. But wait…
What about the one who has to make the complete opposite move? For some bizarre twist of fate, someone else is required to move to the Snow Belt.
It sounds funny but all kidding aside, moving to an entirely different climate can be troublesome at best and dangerous at worst. Many people who live in moderate or hot climates are not aware of the costs and dangers in living in colder climates. This type of move requires some serious advance preparation and reading.
We’ve put together a few useful pointers to help you acclimate to the colder temperature quickly.
- If you are moving during the winter months, be sure you are wearing adequate clothing. This is your first defense against the winter elements. A light jacket will not do in sub zero temperatures. Be sure to buy warmer coats, mitts, hats and boots. Of course, if you come from a very warm area that never gets cold weather, you may not be able to make your cold weather purchases in that city. You may need to wait until you arrive at your new location. In this case, make sure you are bundled up warmly with what you have.
- Do not let the children out to play or allow them to go to school without the proper attire. In very cold temperatures, their skin will freeze in a matter of minutes. I remember the year I left for university. It was only eight hours away but it was north. I never wore a hat. That was childish and unfashionable. The very first day of winter, I had to walk about a mile to the bus stop. My ears were ringing. By the time I got to the bus stop, another student offered me his extra hat. I refused it. The worst mistake of my life. When I got on the bus and my ears started to thaw, it was the most excruciating pain I have ever endured. I had frost bite and it lasted for about 6 weeks. But I learned my lesson. Even though, I live in a friendlier climate now, I always wear a hat in the winter.
- Change your old habits quickly with respect to survival. Understand that every time you venture out, you may be stranded. You may get stuck in a snowstorm, you may slip into a ditch and not get the car out for hours or you may have to wait for a delayed bus. Stock your vehicle with the necessary items to see you through. Make sure your car has a snowbrush and scraper, a blanket for extra warmth, matches, shovel, battery jumper cables, candles and flares. Carry extra clothing for yourself or warmer boots just in case.
- For added convenience, buy yourself a battery warmer and block heater. The block heater is actually a necessity in colder regions. And in some cases, winter tires and chains may be useful.
- Learn to enjoy your new climate. Find sports that you might like to try. Many people can not wait for the winter months because they go tobogganing, skiing, snow mobiling, snow boarding or even ice fishing. The children will love the new experience of building snowmen and snow angels.
- Make sure your furnace has been serviced and ready to turn on that first cold day. Check the insulation around your windows and doors.
- Buy a bag of salt and a good shovel and keep them both handy for the first snowfall. Shoveling is hard work. Do not over exert yourself as snow can be heavy and shoveling is the cause of many heart attacks.
- Remember that driving will be very different in this climate. Drive slowly as there may be ice under the snow or the road may actually be covered with black ice which you cannot see.
- Cover up your outside summer chairs and tables so they do not get rusty or broken. If you can put them indoors during the winter, this is better.
- If you have a wood stove or fireplace, stock up on firewood so you are ready in case of an emergency. If the power goes out and you need to depend on the wood stove for heat, be prepared.
- Moving to a colder climate has some advantages. Many people who suffer from allergies and eczema find the climate change helps their conditions. Others believe that the cold helps kill unwanted bacteria. To those of us who live in the Snow Belt, Christmas would not be the same without snow.
- Lastly, make sure you have plenty of hot chocolate and marshmallows on hand. You will enjoy it !Lastly, make sure you have plenty of hot chocolate and marshmallows on hand. You will enjoy it !