Tag: Weather

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.
  •  

    http://www.weather.com/life/safety/autosafety/article/winter-survival-kit_2011-10-30


    Before Winter Storms and Extreme Cold

    Add the following supplies to your disaster supplies kit:

    • Rock salt to melt ice on walkways
    • Sand to improve traction
    • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.

    Prepare your home and family

    • Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off. For example, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
    • Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
    • Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
    • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.
    • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
    • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
    • Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees.
    • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow – or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

    Prepare your car

    • Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:
      • Antifreeze levels – ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
      • Battery and ignition system – should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
      • Brakes – check for wear and fluid levels.
      • Exhaust system – check for leaks and crimped pipes andrepair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
      • Fuel and air filters – replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas.
      • Heater and defroster – ensure they work properly.
      • Lights and flashing hazard lights – check for serviceability.
      • Oil – check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
      • Thermostat – ensure it works properly.
      • Windshield wiper equipment – repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
    • Install good winter tires.Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
    • Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.
    • Place a winter emergency kit in each car that includes:
      • a shovel
      • windshield scraper and small broom
      • flashlight
      • battery powered radio
      • extra batteries
      • water
      • snack food
      • matches
      • extra hats, socks and mittens
      • First aid kit with pocket knife
      • Necessary medications
      • blanket(s)
      • tow chain or rope
      • road salt and sand
      • booster cables
      • emergency flares
      • fluorescent distress flag

    Dress for the Weather

    • Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
    • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
    • Wear a hat.
    • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

    For more information:

    http://www.fema.gov/hazard/winter/wi_before.shtm

     


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