How does an adapted southerner survive a holiday where the thermometer hovers around 15 degrees F (-9 C)? When the sun is shining and there is no wind, it is beautiful!  The snow sparkles in the sun and it looks deceivingly warm outside.

At least the houses are generally nice and warm inside. The majority of homes (70%) are heated with gas and around 13% are heated with wood. Hopefully all of these homes have a Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm. (Check your CO alarm and make sure it is working.)

Cold is just a regular part of winters in Montana. Growing up there I thought every vehicle came with a plug that you used in the winter to plug your car into an outlet during the really cold months. Some hotels even had outside outlets you could use. And this was all before electric cars. It was only when I moved to another part of the country that I began to wonder why you needed to plug your vehicle in when living in very cold climates and not in warmer areas. (It’s about keeping the engine warm.) I just never bothered to ask why.

As we prepare for the new year, take time to ask why, what now and most importantly, what can I do. Make a positive difference in 2018.

Happy Holidays!

CDC information on carbon monoxide

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