As the Nor'easter bears down on the eastern seaboard there are some things that need to be kept in mind to stay healthy and safe during the storm.
1. If the heat goes out, do not use your oven or stovetop for heat. The methane gas can build up and cause hallucinations. This may also result in a fire. In the case of gas ovens, if the fire goes out then gas could fill your home and could result in an explosion.
2. If you go outside in these storm conditions remember that alcohol does not keep you warm. The warm feeling that some people feel when they drink does not actually make you physically warm. Alcohol consumption causes your body to constrict blood vessels which results in restricted blood flow to the extremities, potentially leading to frostbite and loss of limbs.
3. If you use a fireplace in your home, be careful. The NYC Fire Department suggests that you open the flue and make sure that your chimney has been inspected and cleaned out. Buildup of toxic chemicals on the inside of the chimney can lead to many health effects.
4. If you must go outside, don't warm up your car in the garage. Your cars tailpipe releases carbon monoxide into the air. In a confined space this gas can become concentrated until toxic levels are reached. The hemoglobin in your blood has a higher affinity for carbon monoxide than for oxygen, so any carbon monoxide displaces oxygen and can starve your body of oxygen.
5. If you do get stuck in the snow the important thing to keep in mind is not to stop moving and keep your metabolism up and body warm. Many people assume that they should stop and wait for help, but this can result in hypothermia.