Cons And Cold Weather

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Cons And Cold Weather

Postby ashfire » Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:49 am

I went by Katsucon yesterday for a day at the Gaylord Hotel at National Harbor in Oxon Hill MD just off the Potomac River. Got there at 8AM and little after that there was a flurry white out because of the high winds and the below freezing temperatures. It lasted for about 30 mins. Now I know many cosplayers dress in different styles of dress from furries to skimpy. The snow flurry was not a problem but about 1 PM the fire alarm system was activated in the hotel section for smoke and burning smell in the building. The convention section had con security evacuating that section because it has a separate system. At that time the temperatures and wind was enough to affect exposed skin. :wow!: It took a while to get attendees and others staying in the hotel out and across to other buildings where they could stay warm or out of the wind. I have wondered what attendees could have with them as emergency warming devices if they are forced leave to go out into the cold. There are small emergency rain coats or aluminum blankets that can fit in purses or bags that could keep the wind off. Packaged hand warmers. I guess someone else may have other ideas. It was 30 mins before everyone was allowed back into the hotel and it was a rush and I would guess hotel and con personnel trying to prevent injuries and if there were helping those that tripped or slipped in the crowd. Since it was in my fire company's response area I helped some of the evac of the building with my ID and because I was wearing my safety coat which I kept with me instead of turning in at the coat check. One young lady said she was almost to her room and could have grab her coat or other warm clothing but didn't and wouldn't leave the entrance of the hotel because of her costume which I figured wouldn't get her across the street to another building.
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Re: Cons And Cold Weather

Postby Rusty Claymore » Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:49 pm

Ouch, a perfect storm, sounds like. I know up here in Alaska, cold weather is definitely a concern, so lots of stores have portable options. Like you said, there are small wallet sized space blankets, and even full sized all-weather blankets are small enough folded to fit in a purse of small satchel. Hand warmers and such aren't super effective, but better than nothing. At Costco, there were duck down vests that came with a small pouch, so you could roll em up like a mini sleeping bag. I was taught to, "dress for the fall" and always have gear with me in case of the worst happening. Hard to do though when going to events like cons. Probably the best approach for cold weather cons is the time honored Cloak. It fits in with Cosplay, and can be rolled up and bound for carry. My lil sis has one that works really well. Other than that, it's all about experience. Now that you've shared this, it'll be on my mind next time I'm going to an event in inclement weather, and I can plan accordingly.
Of course, I don't think I'd ever cosplay in something skimpy enough to be an issue...

Also, groups. Penguining works really well in cold weather. But only a lucky few have enough friends to go to a con in a group.
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Re: Cons And Cold Weather

Postby ashfire » Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:14 pm

If the crowd had worked together they could have penguined and put skimpy cosplayers in the middle and those dressed for the weather around them as a wind barrier and body warmth. If it gone longer than 30 mins the fire service could have called in the ambulance buses and other units for warming stations.
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Re: Cons And Cold Weather

Postby ashfire » Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:55 pm

One thing I did noticed later. There were like table clothes near some of the doors. I thought hotel had them out there for covering exhibits. I think the hotel may have put them out there for emergency uses if anyone had to go outside because a friend of mine posted pictures on Facebook and they all had the same colored covers. Another friend I ran into who was in a wheelchair had two of the covers on him while he was being wheeled back into the building. I think the hotel collected the covers backup after everyone was back in the build and put more out.
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