Winter Weather Survival Quiz

By: Ashley Ehman
Estimated Completion Time
6 min
Winter Weather Survival Quiz
Image: Paulo Amorim / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Whether we like it or not, winter always has a way of sneaking back in to our lives. Some people experience its wrath firsthand through blustering winds and extreme blizzards that can knock entire cities out of commission. Other people simply deal with the inconveniences Old Man Winter can cause by way of flight delays during storms or experiencing the chilled climate during family visits around the holidays. 

Regardless of how close you and below-zero temperatures are, there's always something to be said about people who know how to survive emergencies during these harsh months of the year. If your car breaks down on a back road during a snowstorm, do you know how to keep warm? Did you know there's a number of items you should keep in your car just for moments like that? What if the heater for your home malfunctions? Do you know how to keep your pipes from freezing? 

If you consider yourself to be the Bear Grylls of winter weather, then take this test to prove your knowledge! Even if you're not well-versed in winter preparedness, perhaps you'll learn a thing or two from these questions. Whatever you do, don't be left out in the cold!

Q2 - Prep What is the best thing a person can do to be ready for winter weather emergencies?
Research recent news articles
Ask friends what they do
Nothing
Prepare
Adequate preparation is the best tool for combating certain issues that may arise during the winter. Preparedness can come from making emergency kits and knowing what to do in given situations.

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Q1 - Wind Chill What term is given to the lowering of the temperature due to the wind?
Air temperature
Humidity
Wind chill
Wind chill can be a very dangerous phenomenon because it can drastically lower a person's body temperature since it is constantly whisking heat away and replacing it with cold air.
Precipitation

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Q14 - slide What is the term given to a vehicle that loses traction on its rear wheels?
Side-swiping
Salmon spawning
Fishtailing
While a fishtailing vehicle can take a driver by surprise, the tactic for maintaining control comes down to keeping the vehicle pointed in the direction that you are attempting to travel.
Zig-zagging

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Q32 - Exhaust Why is it important to make sure there isn't any snow or ice blocking the tailpipe of your car?
So your car's engine doesn't become overworked
In order to avoid damaging your exhaust system
To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
Another sneaky killer during the colder months is carbon monoxide poisoning. It is important to ensure that proper ventilation is maintained when starting your car or heating your home.
To improve gas mileage

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Q28 - generator If your area is put under a Winter Storm Warning, which of the following should you NOT do?
Check on your neighbors
Turn on the weather radio/local news station
Stay off the roads
Bring your generator into the main living space
While generators can be helpful in power outages, they should not be brought inside. Generators are best kept outside and away from windows, where they can still provide heat but do not create a risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Q9 - bridge Why do bridges tend to become icy before the rest of the road?
The metallic underside of the bridge causes it to freeze
They have excess moisture
The material they're made of makes them easier to freeze
Cold air circulates above and below
There are often signs on the road that read "Bridge Ices Before Road." This is because the bridge is not only being chilled from the top, like the rest of the road, but also the bottom!

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Q30 - help It is best to hang what color of fabric on your car's antennae when you need help?
Black
Red
Red is the best choice for letting other vehicles know that you need help. This is because it is most likely to attract attention and it is easier to see against the snow, as well as during the night.
Green
White

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Q4 - Sub Zero What is the leading killer in winter emergencies?
Starvation
Dehydration
Hypothermia
Hypothermia is the leading cause of death in winter emergencies. That is because it is extremely easy to lose body heat in certain conditions and hard to return said heat to the body without proper care.
Frostbite

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Q5 - Snow Sun Which of the following is not a main focus of concern in cold weather?
Exposure to the elements
The wind chill
Whether a person is wet or not
The amount of sunlight one receives
The three most crucial things to worry about are wind, exposure and water. If a person becomes wet in cold weather, it will be more difficult for their body to maintain its temperature and wet extremities are more at risk for frostbite.

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Q35 - kit Which of the following things should be done after a storm?
Resupply your emergency kits
Discuss what can be done better in the future
Talk to your neighbors and friends about what they did
All of the above
Each winter emergency is an opportunity to learn and be more prepared for future disasters! Be sure to replenish anything that you used in your emergency kits, make any necessary upgrades to your kit or your plan, and see what others did that could be added to your plan for next time.

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Q8 - radiator Which of the following should you NOT do if your home loses heat?
Have a backup heating source
Open the windows so that the heater will trigger on
At no point should you open your windows, this will only let heat out! Turning the faucets on helps prevent them from freezing, and a backup heating element and smaller living space makes it easier to keep warm.
Turn the faucets on so that they're dripping
Shrink your living space

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Q20 - Snow blind What is snow blindness?
When you can't see enough to drive
When you go blind due to the light reflecting off of the snow
Snow blindness is caused by high amounts of albedo, which is when light is reflected off certain surfaces. The increased amount of light is enough to cause you to get a sunburn on your cornea.
When you can't decipher whether something is snow or just white in color
The term given to those who become confused due to hypothermia

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Q22 - rescue What is the biggest threat to your survival if you become buried in snow?
Suffocation
The most common cause of death for those who get caught in avalanches and other snow piles is suffocation. A dwindling air supply can be helped by digging out a pocket-sized area near your mouth.
Hypothermia
Body being crushed
Concussion

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Q34 - frostbite If someone is afflicted with frostbite, what should you NOT do in an attempt to warm them up?
Take them to a warmer location
Cover up the area with blankets
Rub the area to create heat
If it appears that someone has frostbite, do NOT rub the area. Frostbite damages the body's tissues that have been exposed to the cold and rubbing the area could cause even more damage.
Remove any wet clothing

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Q6 - Cold Hands When body tissue becomes damaged from freezing, this is known as what?
Decomposition
Hypothermia
Frostbite
Frostbite is when a living organism experiences their external cells freezing. When cells freeze, they undergo large amounts of stress and damage, which can result in amputation in severe cases.
Extremity forfeiture

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Q7 - Snow Toes Frostbite typically impacts body parts that fall into which group first?
The ones near your heart
The ones furthest from your heart
Frostbite is most likely to set in on body parts that are furthest from one's heart, since blood circulation is what helps keep them warm. This is why frostbite victims often lose toes, finger and ears before anything else.
Body parts that are smaller in size
Body parts that aren't covered in hair

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Q19 - phone Due to poor performance in cold conditions, what item should you keep close to your skin during winter emergencies?
A lantern
A Mylar blanket
A cell phone
Cell phones and other communication devices can have their batteries quickly drained when exposed to extremely frigid weather. It is best to keep them close to your body for warmth.
Your key fob

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Q31 - shoveling Heart attacks are more common in the winter months because of what reason?
Blood is thicker and harder to pump
People become more easily exerted in the cold
Heart attacks are more common in the winter because the cold weather causes one's heart to have to work harder. When shoveling snow or taking care of other things outside, it's important not to overwork one's self.
People are getting less exercise
The added stress of winter driving

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Q15 - Blizzard A storm that has limited visibility for an extended amount of time would be given what title?
Winter Weather Watch
Winter Weather Warning
Blizzard Watch
Blizzard Warning
In addition to wind speeds that reach above 35 miles per hour, a Blizzard Warning also comes with heavy amounts of snow or blustery conditions that limit visibility to less than a quarter of a mile.

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Q17 - stuck If you find your vehicle stuck in the snow, which of the following should you NOT do?
Turn your wheels entirely to one side or another
Turn off traction control
Let some air out of your tires
Let your wheels spin
While some of the items on the list might seem counter-intuitive, they can help when you're stuck! Less air in your tires means more surface area has contact with the ground. As for traction control, it is better to be off in this situation since the purpose of traction control is to keep your vehicle on the pavement.

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Q12 - layers Why is it important to dress in layers during the cold months?
The layers provide insulation.
The layers keep your heat in your body.
The layers trap the heat that is trying to escape your body in the air pockets between the layers.
The primary reason it is important to wear layers in the winter is because as the human body gives off heat, it is then trapped in the air between layers, making you your own best space heater!
It is harder for the cold to penetrate multiple layers.

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Q24 - water Why is it important to store your water upside down in cold weather?
This allows you to see any questionable sediment
This prevents the bottle from cracking
This makes it so the valve and lid will work even if the water is frozen
Dehydration is a big concern, even in winter months. To help with this, people should store their water bottles upside down. This will allow them to function still if the water ends up freezing or becoming slushy.
The air bubbles that collect at the top will be warmer

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Q3 - Layers Why is it recommended to wear layers in cold weather?
It keeps moisture away from your body.
The extra layers prevent the wind from penetrating your inner warmth.
It's easier to manage your temperature to stay comfortable.
Layers are an essential tactic to use in order to maintain one's body heat. With layers, body temperature regulation is more easily controlled and can help keep a person warm while also preventing sweating.
This idea is a myth, since layering isn't actually useful.

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Q18 - hypothermia How many stages does hypothermia have?
Two
Three
There are three definable stages of hypothermia. The first stage consists of body shivers and a lowered ability to circulate blood. The second stage is met with confusion and tiredness. The advanced stage is when pulse and breathing slows or stops completely.
Four
Five

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Q21 - post hole While walking in the snow, when someone takes a step and immediately sinks, this is known as what?
Sink stepping
Pocket walking
Anchoring
Post-holing
It is important to avoid post-holing when walking in the snow, which can be done with a walking stick. By avoiding the sinking, you conserve more energy since you do not constantly have to pull yourself out of snow mounds.

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Q10 - storn plow What winter weather phenomenon is described as "severe winter conditions that have or will begin within a 24 hour period"?
Winter Storm Watch
Winter Storm Warning
The parameter that determines whether a weather event is classified as a winter storm instead of a blizzard comes down to wind speed. If the wind is blowing at less than 35 miles per hour, it is categorized as a winter storm.
Blizzard Watch
Blizzard Warning

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Q23 - buried In order to determine which direction is up when buried in a snow pile, what should a person do?
Dig in the direction their head is facing
Listen for birds and dig towards the sound
Watch for light peaking through the snow
Spit
One thing that causes people to die in winter emergencies is not being prepared. However, if caught in a pile of snow, spitting is a quick way to figure out which direction to dig. Simply spit, see which direction the saliva falls and dig in the opposite direction.

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Q13 - skid How should you react if your car loses control on some snow?
Turn your wheels in the direction you want to go
It is best to keep your wheels pointed towards the direction you want to go. This is because at any point, the tires could catch some traction. If that happens, it's better to be prepared and ready to steer in the correct direction.
Quickly hit the brakes and brace yourself
Slowly push down on the brakes, with the steering wheel centered
Turn your wheels in the opposite direction you want to go

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Q29 - blankets Which of the following does not need to be a part of your vehicle's winter weather emergency kit?
Blankets
Newspapers
Kitty litter
A compass
Blankets are valuable items to keep in one's car in order to help stay warm on the off chance that a person becomes stranded. Kitty litter can be used to create traction and newspapers can be used for insulation.

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Q33 - House Home insurance usually doesn't cover which threat after a winter storm?
Damage caused by ice dams on the roof
Flooding in the basement from melting snow
Flood insurance is typically not a piece of homeowner's insurance, meaning it needs to be purchased separately. This is especially important in areas that deal with a large amount of snowmelt in the spring.
Windows cracked from severe cold
Items destroyed during the storm

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Q25 - Eat Snow Eating snow for hydration can actually be detrimental to one's survival. Why is that?
Snow has dehydrating qualities
Snow itself is made up of mostly air, which can make it hard to hydrate with snow alone. Snow should be melted with an external heat source prior to drinking to conserve body heat and to ensure that someone is getting enough liquids.
Snow can be filled with harmful chemicals
Your body processes snow too efficiently
Snow doesn't aid in hydration

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Q11 - Frozen Man Hypothermia starts to happen when your body's temperature falls below what?
97 degrees
96 degrees
95 degrees
Hypothermia is when the human body cannot make heat fast enough to regulate its core temperature. The first signs of hypothermia are shivering and decreased circulation in certain body parts.
94 degrees

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Q16 - Blizzard Watch If there is a Winter Storm Outlook in place, a winter storm is expected in which time range?
One to two days
Two to five days
Winter Storm Outlooks are used to give people adequate time to prepare for blizzards and other kinds of winter storms. The weather conditions that are in place when a Winter Storm Outlook is announced are likely to result in a storm.
Within a week
Within 10 days

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Q26 - thermals What is the best kind of material to have as your base layer?
Polyester or nylon
Polyester or nylon clothing makes a great base layer because these materials are known for their moisture-wicking abilities. By staying dry, one is less likely to experience issues.
Wool
Cotton
Spandex

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Q27 - Deer In animals that live outdoors, which of the following is the leading cause of death during the winter?
Inaccessible shelter
Frozen water source
It is important to ensure that grazing animals and other livestock have access to a water supply that will not freeze in extreme conditions. Without it, they can die of dehydration.
Starvation
Hypothermia

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