Winter has arrived…cold temps, snow drifted driveways, and icy roads. Since most of us don’t have the luxury of hibernating all winter long, it’s important that we are prepared just in case a winter storm hits while we are out and about-especially with our little ones. No one ever thinks they are going to get stuck, stranded, lost, or in an accident, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Keep your cell phone fully charged, your gas tank fully topped off, and let someone know that you are heading out. In addition, throw these items in a Tupperware container and keep them in your trunk during the winter months. You probably won’t ever need to use them…but, just in case! You can purchase pre-packaged winter survival kits in many stores and online, but make sure that they have these items before you purchase them (or be prepared to add to the kits).
Winter Weather Survival Kit Checklist:
1. Cell Phone, portable charger, extra battery
2. Small Shovel and a Windshield Scraper
3. Battery Powered Radio and a Flash Light with extra batteries
4. Snack Foods and Bottles of Water- some great options include hard candy, jellybeans, candy bars, raisins, nuts, dehydrated fruit, and jerky. You want foods that are dense in calories, protein and sugar. If you have a little one make sure that you have extra formula if you aren’t breast-feeding or age appropriate foods.
5. Blankets and Clothing-Keep several blankets or a sleeping bag in the car. Extra warm clothes such as long underwear, heavy socks, hats and mittens, and even a ski mask are also important to have on hand. Hand warmers and foot warmers can also come in handy.
6. Nylon Rope and a Bright Colored Flag or piece of fabric along with a whistle to signal for help
7. Waterproof matches (sometimes lighters won’t work in extremely cold temperatures) and a can to melt snow for water
8. Compass, map, and jumper cables
9. First Aid Kit
10. Road Salt and Sand
11. Toilet paper and paper towel (if you have a little one make sure to have diapers, wipes, and formula)
12. A source of heat is incredibly important in case your car won’t run. A multiple wick candle can heater is a good option (along with water proof matches). Even having a hand full of standard pillar candles can generate a significant amount of heat.
Some Important Safety Survival Tips if You Get Stranded (throwing these in for free:)
I grew up in Michigan, so I was aware of most of these tips…but not all of them. Even if you’re from Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Montana you may want to refresh your memory! If you’ve transplanted from a warm weather state, then you definitely need to read these life saving tips!
1. Always stay with your vehicle (don’t go exploring in a blizzard!)
2. Run your engine sparingly (15 minutes every hour). If the weather is extremely cold you may need to run the engine continuously because it may not restart if you turn it off.
3. Don’t go to sleep with the engine running! Read something to keep yourself awake and to pass the time.
4. Make sure that the exhaust pipe of the car is clear of snow. You don’t want carbon monoxide poisoning.
5. Keep your feet off the floor if you don’t have the heater on. You can’t afford to lose heat through your feet!
6. Tie your colorful flag or banner onto the car antenna. If you do have to leave the car for any reason make sure that you tie your nylon rope to the car and then to yourself so that you can find your way back.
7. Move everything from your emergency kit from the trunk of your car into the interior of the car. Look through your supplies to see what you have. If you have to sleep, eat a high calorie snack just before you go to sleep so that you can increase your metabolism and thus heat production while sleeping.
8. Start layering up now with all extra clothing. You want to stay warm! It is a lot easier to stay warm than it is to regain lost heat. Try to loosen any of your clothing that may be tight. This can help maintain body heat circulation. Take off all metal jewelry since this can decrease your body temperature as it gets cold.
These are just some important winter weather safety highlights that I’ve pulled from the following sources. Click on the links for more information. Stay safe! Stay warm!