Simple Winter Survival Tips
Last month Northerners watched in horror as the south was literally crippled by 2 inches of snow. It sounds like a bad joke, but a few simple steps could have saved a lot of headaches and possibly lives.
If you don’t live with snow 9 months out of every year these basics may seem rather odd, but these are tried and true precautions that we northerners live by.
1. Keep cat litter in the trunk of your car. If you get stick on the snow throw the cat litter around your tires. It creates traction. Cat litter can get you out of just about any slippery icy mess.
2. Keep “Emergency warmth” in the car. We carry a spare blanket in the car in the summer in case of impromptu picnic, but in the winter we call it Emergency warmth. Every one sits in the back seat wrapped together in emergency blankets – combined body heat.
3. Unless the temp is going to be below 0 F for days on end, a heavy jacket is probably a waste of money. Instead dress in Layers. Winter jackets up here in the north are jackets inside of other jackets that come apart as the weather gets warmer and zip back together as it gets colder.
Purchase fleece jackets and sweat shirts in different sizes. Put on and take off the layers as the temperatures rise and fall.
4. Do NOT go to the store to buy milk, eggs and bread. If you lose power the food will go bad and most people don’t have a way to make French toast without power (bread, eggs and milk = French toast)
DO BUY: a half gallon of milk and everyone’s favorite cereal. Every one loves cereal. Eating it 3 times a day will be a treat if you have small kids.
5. Purchase a plastic tub with a secure cover. If the power goes down put the milk and other refrigerated stuff in the tub, secure the cover and put the tub outside in the shade In The Snow. The snow will keep the food cold and the cover will keep animals from getting into it.
6. Purchase a few of those 5 gallon buckets from Lows or Wal-mart, they’re about $1 each. Fill them with water and leave them in the tub. The moment the power goes out everyone needs to go to the bathroom. Use the buckets to flush!
7. A shakable flashlight is always a good idea, but those glow sticks you have left over from Halloween are even better. After Halloween I purchase handfuls of glow sticks from Wal-mart for $0.25 each. We keep them all over the house, in the car, laptop bag, you name it we have glow sticks. Those suckers may only glow for a few hours, but you can store the unused glow sticks forever! (we have 8 year old Glow Sticks, used one a month ago it worked just fine.)
8. Charge ALL of your electronics long before the storm starts and keep them turned off until you need them.
9. Know where your sleeping bags are, have a few non-electrical games for the kids – it will all be over tomorrow and life will get back to normal with some good stories to tell.
A lot of the precautions you’d take for a Hurricane will work for a winter storm, but you shouldn’t need to plywood the windows.
Flashlights, portable generators and such are all great, but if you’ve never used those items during a hurricane, you’re not going to use it for 2 inches of snow.
A winter storm in the south shouldn’t last more than a day and the snow will melt rather quickly. Don’t leave the house, hunker down, shelter in places and keep a good attitude.