Bad Weather Survival Guide to Tailgating in Washington DC
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As any DC resident knows, sometimes the weathermen get the forecast just plain wrong. Whether that forecasted sunny day is now a day of blanketing rain or blowing snow, be prepared with this bad weather survival guide to ensure your tailgating experience at FedEx Field is a safe and enjoyable one no matter what Mother Nature may bring.
Wintertime in the DC area tends to be blustery, frosty and bone-chilling cold, not that the spring-like temps and weather we’ve experienced lately has been any indication. When Mother Nature decides to bring winter back, be prepared with the right clothing and gear. Like your momma always said, keep your head, face and neck covered at all times. The Mayo Clinic recommends wearing mittens over gloves since your uncovered fingers are closer together and more likely to stay warm. To prevent body heat loss, wear silk or wool underneath loose-fitting layers of clothing. If it’s windy out, wear a jacket or coat that’s made of tightly woven materials like tweed or corduroy. Also, watch how much you drink while outdoors since alcohol increases body heat loss.
Protect Yourself From the Elements
When the weather forecast calls for a mixed bag of precipitation, don’t go cowering back into your home. Pack some tailgating essentials including raincoats, umbrellas, water-repellent shoes, towels and an extra set of clothing. Move your tailgating party away from low lying spots as it may turn into a pond with the rain and run-off. Set up a canopy or tent with a windscreen for wind protection and/or a removable floor to prevent the ground from getting mucky. Keep all electrical devices, including generators, stereos and televisions, off the ground and away from water. Remember to never set a grill inside a canopy either. Set the grill outside (yes, even in the rain) and have the chef du jour stand beneath a canopy or an umbrella.
Car Safety Tips
Rain, sleet and snow not only make tailgating difficult, they make your drive to and from FedEx Field just as complicated. When heading to or from the game, be sure to keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. If it’s raining, turn on your headlights and refrain from driving with your hazards on unless it’s an emergency. Never slam on your brakes as this may cause your car to skid and may cause you to lose control. Should you notice your car starting to lose traction or control, take your foot off the accelerator and move the steering wheel in the same direction your car is sliding towards. Always keep an emergency preparedness kit in the trunk of your car. In addition to food and water, include items like a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, emergency flares, blankets, flashlight, battery-operated or hand crank radio, extra batteries, a small toolkit and jumper cables.
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Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.