Tag: Safety

Winter Survival Kit: 10 Things to Keep in Your Car

Remember the uncle you had that was always so prepared about everything? He was the guy who kept a perfect log of his vehicle maintenance in the glovebox. He knew who the most trustworthy mechanic in town was. He washed and waxed his own car. And, he had a survival kit in his trunk for winter and summer.

Winter is tough on vehicles and travel. Snow, cold temperatures, ice, slush and salt play havoc on a vehicle and our driving. The odds of us having a driving emergency is much greater in winter than in the other three seasons.

So, it pays to keep a kit in your trunk with all he things your are likely to need. Some auto parts stores and mass merchandisers like Walmart or Target sell these as a bundle in their own carrying case. But if you don’t find one that meets your price, and you want to combine new purchases with stuff you already have to save money, then here is your packing list. By the way, this makes a nice holiday gift for a loved on, but should be mandatory for the kid who is off to college with a car in a snow-belt school.

  • Blanket: If you are stuck with a car that won’t start, or that has conked out, and have to wait in cold weather for help, you will want a decent warm blanket as an extra layer.
  • Snow shovel: Get a short-handled shovel, probably a coal-type shovel, to stow in the trunk in case you need to remove snow from around the wheels of your vehicle. You can buy plastic ones, but you may want to opt for a metal one in case you also need to chip at some ice or compacted snow.
  • Flashlight: Self explanatory. Keep a good-sized, water-proof flashlight with fresh batteries in case your breakdown is at night. Pack emergency candles too, as a back-up.
  • Hand warmers: Available at camping stores. Smash the bag and the chemical reaction inside creates warmth to defrost fingers that may be trying to change a tire or fiddle with an engine.
  • Matches: You never know when you will have to manufacture heat. It’s better than rubbing tow cld, snowy sticks together, hoping for the best.
  • Bottle of water and a few protein, snack bars. You hear of people surviving on ketchup packets that have fallen between the seats, but some planning will yield a better menu under emergency conditions.
  • Syphon Pump: If being out of gas is your problem, and you get offered help by a good samaritan, you want t be able to get a gallon or two of gas out of another gas tank to get you going quickly.
  • Lightsticks: These cost almost nothing at a dollar store and can be used either as a iight source or to wear in case you are shoveling snow around your wheels at night.
  • Flares: These should be in your trunk in all seasons for putting next to your car if you are pulled over in distress.
  • Whistle: It can be used to either signal for help to someone who can’t hear you yell, or to scare someone who may be trying to take advantage of your distress.


    Disaster Preparedness and Fire Safety Information Events

    The Amarillo/Potter/Randall Office of Emergency Management would like to invite you to come and learn how to best prepare you, your family, and your property against disasters. Over the next couple of weeks, there will be two opportunities to gather disaster and fire preparedness materials at the designated United Supermarkets below.

    Saturday, March 10 – Disaster Preparedness and Fire Safety Information (1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the United Supermarket at 3400 River Road, Amarillo, TX)

    Saturday, March 17 – Disaster Preparedness and Fire Sagety Information (1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the United supermarket at 4701 S. Washington, Amarillo, TX)

    Information from participating organizations will include:

    • Warning systems – making sure you have multiple avenues to get notified
    • NOAA All Hazards Radio – ensuring your radio is programmed with the Potter or Randall code so that you get alerted
    • Volunteering – opportunities available
    • Ready, Set, Go! Fire book – preparing your family and home for wildfire threats
    • Disaster Recovery – steps you should take following a disaster
    • Business Continuity – planning and prepping your business for a disaster

    More information can be found at http://oem.amarillo.gov

    Hope to see you there


    Winter Weather Preparedness

    With winter weather in the forecast, it seems as though this would be a good time for a reminder of a few simple safety tips that could save a life. Dress for the Season Wear loose, lightweight, warm clothes in layers. Trapped air insulates. Remove layers to avoid perspiration and subsequent chill. Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent, and hooded. Wear a hat. Half your body heat loss can be from the head. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves. Try to stay dry.

    In Vehicles:

    Plan your travel and check the latest weather reports to avoid the storm! Fully check and winterize your vehicle before the winter season begins.

    Road Conditions Hotlines:

    Texas Panhandle 1-806-468-1488
    Texas 1-800-452-9292
    Oklahoma 1-405-425-2385
    New Mexico 1-800-432-4269
    Colorado 1-303-639-1111
    Kansas 1-800-585-7623

    For Current Weather Conditions and Forecast: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ama/

    Carry a Winter Storm Survival Kit:

    • Mobile phone, charger, batteries
    • Blankets/sleeping bags
    • Flashlight with extra batteries
    • First-aid kit
    • Knife
    • High-calorie, non-perishable food
    • Extra clothing to keep dry
    • Large empty can to use as emergency toilet. Tissues and paper towels for sanitary purposes
    • Small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water
    • Sack of sand or cat litter for traction
    • Shovel
    • Windshield scraper and brush
    • Tool kit
    • Tow rope
    • Battery booster cables
    • Water container
    • Compass and road maps.
    • Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
    • Avoid traveling alone.
    • Let someone know your timetable and primary and alternate routes.

    At Home and Work

    Primary concerns are loss of heat, power and telephone service and a shortage of supplies if storm conditions continue for more than a day.

    Have available:

    • Flashlight and extra batteries.
    • Battery-powered NOAA Weather
    • Radio and portable radio to receive emergency information. These may be your only links to the outside.
    • Extra food and water. Have high energy food, such as dried fruit, nuts and granola bars, and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration.
    • Extra medicine and baby items.
    • First-aid supplies.
    • Heating fuel. Refuel before you are empty. Fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a winter storm.
    • Emergency heat source: fireplace, wood stove, space heater. Use properly to prevent a fire. Ventilate properly.
    • Fire extinguisher, smoke alarm. Test smoke alarms once a month to ensure they work properly.
    • Make sure pets have plenty of food, water and shelter.

    On the Farm/Pets

    • Move animals to sheltered areas.
    • Shelter belts, properly laid out and oriented, are better protection for cattle than confining shelters, such
      as sheds.
    • Haul extra feed to nearby feeding areas.
    • Have water available. Most animals die from dehydration in winter storms.
    • Make sure pets have plenty of food, water and shelter.


    For more information, please visit http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/ama/prepared/winterstorm.pdf

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