Friday, December 24, 2010

Winter Driving: Emergency Supplies

Tis the season for travel, and with it the possibility of breakdown due to blizzard, white-out or flooding. Before you venture out on the roads for the white season, make sure you have satisfactory emergency gear in your vehicle and know how to use it:

Basic repair tools: Ice scraper, lug wrench, jumper cables, Jack, fire extinguisher, tow strap or chain, screwdrivers, ratchet set, duct tape, shovel, can tire inflator, sand or ice melt, kitty litter, pocketknife, folding saw, hand ax.
Signaling: safety flares, distress flag or brightly colored bandana, signal mirror or whistle.
Clothing and shelter: blankets or sleeping bag, tarp or tent, and spare clothing: hats, gloves, socks, winter boots, sunglasses.
Food and water: pot or cook kit, candy or energy bars, MREs, freeze-dried food, gallon of water, water bottles, water treatment tablets or filter,
First aid and hygiene: First aid kit, toilet paper or tissue, hand sanitizer, waste disposal kit.
Communication: FRS radio, cell phone, hand crank or solar radio w/cell phone charger.
Lighting: shaker or wind-up flashlight, lantern, headlamp.
In Glove Box: Personal survival kit.
Emergency heat: coffee can stove - small coffee or fruit can, roll of toilet paper (no scented) inside the can, square aluminum pie pan, matches or lighter, and a bottle of 70% rubbing alcohol poured over the TP, and lit - will heat a car interior for hours. Place heater on pie pan on passenger side floor. Crack a window for fresh air. *DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED.

Preparing your car for winter:

1. Check + winterize all systems: tires, radiator, heater, battery and wiper blades.
2. Install snow tires or carry chains.
3. Keep at minimum half tank of gas.
4. Carry emergency supplies, see above.
5. Insure good working conditions.

Stay healthy, mind-body-spirit! -Z

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