So, this blog has been on my mind since the start of the new year. However, I was always busy and never had the time to sit down to write…. until now. Courtesy of Jonas (Mr. Blizzard himself), I have not been to my home in a few days and have been forced to slooooooow doooooown. Anyone who knows me absolutely knows I am always in go mode. So, not being able to go home due to the fact that all of the roads have not been cleared is making me totally antsy. Anyway, let me share some of my tips and thoughts on dealing with Old Man Winter and his bag of tricks.
- Some areas are prone to rough winters and, as such, their citizens deal with them with relative ease. However, other areas typically have mild winters with the exception of that “once every 6-10 year or so” blizzard. When the weather starts to change, your defense for dealing with this is a good offense. If you drive, make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape. Wheels are in good condition, heat is working and your car has a full tank of gas. Now, the last point comes from a woman who drives on “E” routinely. Recently a “dusting” of snow blew through the Washington, DC area and locked down every nick and cranny of the local area for at least 50 miles. Thank God I gassed my car up earlier in that week because I was on the road for 7 hours. Count them— 7. And you know what, I never reached home. However, I also never ran out of gas either.
- In addition to making sure your vehicle is well serviced and your gas tank is full, make sure you have an ice-scraper in the vehicle and either some kitty litter, ice melt or salt in the vehicle. Of course you know the ice scraper will be used to clear your window and also to chip ice away from the tires. The kitty litter, ice melt and salt can be used to help you get your vehicle out of a situation– unless there is just too much snow or ice. Kitty litter, believe it or not, provides some excellent traction for a vehicle.
- Make sure you have a “go bag” in your vehicle. A go bag is basically a duffel bag, backpack, or small suitcase that contains a change of clothing, some toiletries, socks, a change of shoes, a flashlight and a blanket or something to keep you warm in the event you become stranded. You might also want to consider a small portable, battery operated radio. If you leave the bag in your car year round, make sure you check it from time to time to make sure your toiletries are still good and that your clothing actually still fits. Also, if you elect to include the small, battery operated radio, remember to check the batteries periodically (I know for a fact that extreme cold temps can drain a battery like no one’s business).
- Perhaps a little more important than a go bag is food and water. This is something that can often be overlooked. I would recommend keeping a gallon of water in the vehicle and some non-perishable snacks like crackers, nuts, fruit bars and maybe some popcorn. Try to limit the amount of salty snacks as that can dehydrate you and make you exhaust your supply of water. As with the items in your “go bag” periodically check the expiration dates on your snacks to make sure they are still fresh. Also, water does have an expiration date. Make sure you keep the water away from any chemicals or cleaners that you may have in your vehicle as well.
Bottom line be prepared and you will be one step ahead of old man winter. In the next post, I will discuss traveling during the winter and how you can deal with the disruptions and delays.