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Chill, Floridians, here's how you cope with extreme cold

Heather Higdon, 42, is a native Floridian. On a moderately cool day in November, she allowed that "If it's under 80 it's chilly with a breeze. Like the water is 75 degrees. That's freezing."

DIRK SHADD | Times

Heather Higdon, 42, is a native Floridian. On a moderately cool day in November, she allowed that "If it's under 80 it's chilly with a breeze. Like the water is 75 degrees. That's freezing."

As the nation hunkers down in an icy grip brought on by the "polar vortex," Floridians are coming to grips with the fact that it might actually get really cold here. We're talking 30s and 40s, people! So it's time to review helpful advice (with tongue firmly in cheek) for dealing with this major weather event. In case anyone has forgotten the drill, here's what you do:

1. Turn off the air-conditioning. We know, it was 80 just a day ago, so you might have forgotten that you can fiddle with the thermostat and even make the heat come on if you like!

2. Add another layer. You've already been wearing a sweater in your office because it's so freakin' cold in there every day. Try adding a light coat. You do own one, right? You can always take it off when you arrive.

3. Forget about dining outdoors for a couple of days. We know, they have those big cool-looking fiery heater things. But they scorch you on one side and leave you freezing on the other when the wind comes off the water.

4. Think about wearing closed-toed shoes. Yes, you're addicted to wearing that great pair of sandals that you got back in May. But reddish, frozen toes aren't pretty.

5. Watch the weather incessantly. Of course you're really watching to see how cold it's going to get back in your home state so you can call up someone and commiserate. Resist the urge. They won't appreciate hearing what your low temps are going to be.

6. Prepare for the worst. We all know it's probably going to warm up in a couple of days, but who knows when you'll get to the beach anytime soon? Better book an appointment at that tanning salon you've been meaning to try.

7. Familiarize yourself with how your car heater works. You don't want to be punching buttons while trying to make it to work on time. If you can't remember (like most of us), read the manual.

8. Find new uses for your beach towel. It's not the same as a blanket, but since you probably don't own one of those, a beach towel works pretty good. It's especially cozy when you're enduring a kids' soccer game at 8 p.m. and the temperature reads 42 and it's all you have in the car to keep you warm.

9. Use it as an excuse to buy a new sweatshirt from your favorite beach bar. Maybe you can actually make a good fashion choice instead of pointing to the pink and green one when it was the only one that was available when you were freezing your patootie off there the last time.

10. Head south. We know it can be expensive, but Key West is pretty sweet this time of year. High of 78 by Friday. Think you can cope with that?

Chill, Floridians, here's how you cope with extreme cold 01/06/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 12:45pm]
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