The way winters are setting in in the valley, there is no doubt that this year the season is going to see some bone-chilling cold days. The winters last year were one of the toughest we have seen in recent times with temperature dipping to minus 8 or even below in some plains of Kashmir. People were haplessly trying to unclog frozen water pipes for days as the mercury refused to settle anywhere above zero. This year too, the season seems to be ready with its tenacity and tough nature. In fact, last night night, temperatures dropped to below normal across Kashmir Valley with Pahalgam and Gulmarg recording minus 3.3°C and minus 1.0°C respectively. A meteorological department official said that Srinagar recorded a low of 1.6°C against 2.2°C on the previous night. The temperature is below minus 0.2°C normal for this time of the year in the summer capital. Qazigund, the gateway town of Kashmir, recorded a minimum temperature of 0.8°C against the previous night’s 1.2°C, the official said. It was minus 1.1°C below normal for the place. Pahalgam, the famous resort in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 3.3°C against minus 2.3°C on the previous night and normal of minus 1.1°C. Kokernag, also in south Kashmir, recorded a minimum temperature of 1.5°C against 1.5°C on the previous night and it was minus 1.2°C below normal there. In north Kashmir, Kupwara town recorded a low of 1.1°C against 1.5°C on the previous night. Gulmarg recorded a minimum of minus 1.0°against minus 2.0°C on the previous night. Leh is already freezing and recorded a low of minus 6.6°C against last night’s minus 6.8°C while mercury settled at 3.0°C in Kargil. As such, Kashmiris must prepare for it accordingly and at the same time ensure they keep themselves healthy. The traditional methods of keeping oneself warm, especially with a Kangri and a pheran is still one of the best ways to manage through the bone-chilling cold. At the same time, drinking hot beverages is what can help a person manage throughout the day. People must avoid riding two-wheelers in these months as cold, freezing gusts of wind can prove quite deadly for a biker. It is better to walk briskly if one needs to go out for running errands in his nearby locality or within a few kilometres. Brisk afternoon walks must be a part of one’s schedule even in winters. One does not want to become more immobile and lethargic in this weather as that invites a slew of other long-term health and fitness issues with it. Experts suggest against using coal heaters as that has resulted in deaths due to suffocation as every year we see people losing their lives due to it. Instead, a simple Kangri is far safer and easier to manage. People who have the means must look after those who are economically weak and may require both monetary and other assistance to cope up with the winter woes. While people wrap up windows with plastic sheets, they must ensure some ventilation in the rooms.