With the new threat of winter weather I thought it a good time to go over some of the basics. Here in the North Country it’s not unusual for us to lose our power, for days. It’s also not unusual to slide off the road and have to wait for a tow truck. Even with today’s technology living in a remote area you usually are stuck for an hour or longer. Most of have preparedness kits, just as those in earthquake prone areas have kits.
The first thing I want to say is if you slide in the ditch and you are stuck stuck turn off the car. Many people are killed from carbon monoxide poisoning. While people who live up here know to do that especially if the snow is up to or over your tail pipe, many visitors to our area don’t.
Winter Car Care Package
- Jumper Cables or a portable battery charger (in case you find your car battery dead)
- Kitty Litter (if you’re stuck on the ice it will give you traction)
- Candle & Matches (lighting a candle will give you some warmth while waiting in your car, matches have always worked better in the cold than a lighter for us, but waterproof matches are even better)
- Ice Scraper with a Snow Broom
- Gloves, Hat, Coat, Extra Socks, Boots (many of us here ME being one, don’t wear a coat out in the cold, I wear sweatshirts and sweaters with tennis shoes)
- Flash Light with extra batteries
- Hand Warmers
- Snow Shovel
When thinking of your home it can get a little more prickly. Everyone has a different heating source. Some of us have wells and some are on city water. Then many have electric stoves and gas stoves. That said NEVER NEVER EVER heat your home with your oven! This is not only a fire danger but can be a Carbon Monoxide danger too.
Winter Home Emergency Kit
Generator (ok this is nice to have but an expensive luxury and one our family doesn’t have)
Have an non electrical/non fuel source of heat. Space heater can emit toxic gases are are not safe. Our home has wood heat for a primary source with solar panel and a boiler as back up heat. If there is a danger that your pipes may freeze turn off your main water shut off and turn on all faucets and water sources and let them run until drained. Flush toilets until drained. While this doesn’t guarantee you won’t have a leak it will help cut down on possible water damage.
- Snow Shovel
- Salt and Sand
- Bottled Water
- Canned Food or Non Perishable Food (remember you may not have a cooking source). While I don’t like MREs I know a lot of families that keep them on hand.
- Warm Clothing
- NOAA Radio but we have the basic battery operated radio with local stations.
- Baby Wipes
- Can Opener & Utensils
- Candles & sources to light them with.
These are just the basics and up here most people don’t wait until the last minute to fill their cars with gas but you should keep a full tank for two reasons. One because it helps to keep moisture out of your tank and two because it you may need it.
We also keep our pantries stocked and our everydays a little extra padded since the kids are often off school when storms hit. Bread, milk, eggs, butter, and any fruit or foods we may want.