Blizzard’s are a chilly and fierce force of nature. Naturally, man has adapted over the years as they have learned what to do when one comes. They have also developed new technologies to help keep them warm and safe. One that we’ll be looking at today is instant heat pads and whether they’ll be effective in a blizzard.
Are Instant Heat Pads Effective?
How Do They Work?
Back in the day, people had pads that they could heat in a variety of ways. Once heated, it could be used as a hot compress or for warmth. Now though, people have innovated and created instant ones that warm up quickly.
These small packs have a light disc held within. All a person needs to do is click this disc to start the heating process.
The liquid in the pack passes through the disc, making its temperature rise to 54°C, with some reaching as high as 82°C.
Uses for these pads include heat therapy, for muscle and joint pains, as well as relaxing muscles. They can also be used to heat various items. What about in blizzards?
Are They Effective in Snowstorms?
Unfortunately, these pads are likely to do little when caught in a blizzard. This is largely due to our body’s response to extreme cold.
As stated previously, our body aims to preserve the core temperature for the organs inside. This allows for increased chances of survival. In doing so though, it is likely to narrow the blood vessels and draw away blood from extremities like fingers and toes.
Does It At Least Help With Shivering?
One would think that the heating pads would help with shivering. However, in understanding the nature of shivering, even this is negated.
Shivering is our body’s way of keeping the core temperature up. The body burns food in our body and creates heat. Thus, shivering is not helped by external heat sources, at least with regard to surviving or staving off symptoms of hypothermia.
So, unfortunately, instant heat pads are not effective in blizzards.
What Intense Snowstorms Do to People
Extreme cold from these storms can bring about a number of negative conditions and symptoms to people. These include things like:
- Hypothermia and even frostbite
- Permanent damage to extremities
Surviving an Intense Snowstorm
Even though these pads may not hold well in these crazy snow conditions, there are a number of other ways people can survive.
For starters, one of the best things to do is stay prepared. Begin by checking weather reports at the start of each day and even week. This is especially the case if it is the season for snowstorms.
With that information, plan accordingly. Get all the supplies you need and plan out your days to get around this extreme weather condition.
If you need to go out during this storm, then it is important to layer up as much as possible. For this, the best practice is to have several layers of thin clothing on, and not just a singular thick layer.
In addition, wear ear muffs, gloves or mittens, a scarf, and anything else that can help keep the body’s temperature up.
Find Warmth and Shelter
Finally, one should always seek the comfort of shelter and warmth in a strong snowstorm. The goal here is to stay dry and safe from the weather. If one is not able to find a house or a shack, they can build a lean-to or find a snow cave.
Once in, they can build a fire to keep temperatures high.
Knowledge Hand in Hand With Innovation
Despite the innovation that instant heat pads bring, they are unfortunately ineffective in the face of a blizzard.
This shouldn’t be something to worry about, as more innovations will no doubt come, giving more solutions to the blistering cold.
As always, innovation is paired best with knowledge. In this case, the knowledge of the weather and how our bodies react to the extreme cold can always come in handy when in a pinch.
Knowledge of first aid practices can also help people stay prepared in both harsh weather and emergency medical conditions.
Learn more about first aid with CPR First Aid’s Liverpool course.