It’s cold, people! Did ya’ hear? Of course, you did.
Is there too much focus on the cold weather? Well, from a safety first standpoint, the answer to that has to be “no”. People need to know the risks and take certain precautions for the sake of their health and the health of those around them. We need to talk about staying indoors, bundling up, dressing in layers, dripping faucets and so on. We need to bring in our pets. We need to cover up the plants. We need to check on our elderly neighbors and make sure everyone’s OK.
Every warning that accompanies a “Freeze-pocalypse” must not go ignored. It is the media’s obligation to discuss these matters ad nauseam. They cannot control when someone will be tuned in, so for the sake of helping everyone understand what’s at stake, the coverage goes on and on. Of course information only continues to be information unless it is accompanied by a practical demonstration. As I’ve said before, “All lecture and no lab a science course does not make.” Hence the need for Jim Cantore to stick his tongue on a pole. “It’th weawy dat code! Pweathe be thafe, peopo.”
I worry though that with all this focus on the actual temperature, the wind chill, and the “feels like” temperature, something is going to get ignored. No one’s talking about static electricity.
Please be prepared for this. With much of the country dominated by cold, dry air, or the interior of our homes dry because of the heaters constantly running, the zap factor is running at an all-time high.
Is there really a static problem? I’m positive (see what I did there?).
There is a tremendous risk involved with being insulated but not insulated, if you know what I mean. Without thinking, people bundled up in layers get up off the couch (rub-rub) and shuffle off to the bathroom (rub-rub). All they’re thinking about is how long it’s going to take to de-layer, and then their thoughts turn too quickly to how cold the seat’s going to be. No one has any clue about the silent and invisible predator they’ve helped to create. That is, until they touch the bathroom doorknob and...
After that you’ve got to go change a few layers.
It’s cold, folks. Please remember to stay warm, and don’t forget to stay grounded.