Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Winter Driving Preparedness- The Paul Simon Blog

I gotta think that there was a whole lot of slip sliding away going on lately on the roads… .

I remember getting the calls; someone was on their cell phone, in the snow drift, in hopeless conditions in which we would be hard pressed to get to them.  Were they prepared?  Not just no, but hell no! Under-dressed for the cold, no boots, thin gloves, no warm hat, probably poor tread on their tires, no water to drink, no flares, no tow rope, no shovel, no self-protection in case someone with ill intent came along, no emergency light, no food, no real pressing need to have been out in the weather and the question on their lips… “how soon can you get to me? I’m in a hurry!”

And like the Coast Guard when they rescue a boat that went out in crappy seas, we’d always find a way to get to them.

So, what should you do if they needed to risk a trip in the weather?  Prepare!

Any car should have a basic kit in it. The contents of the kit will vary based on the season, but the kit should be there. How extensive should the kit be?  That’s like asking an old timer if he wears boxers or briefs, he’ll answer, “Depends.”  It depends on your level of comfort.  It depends on your type of vehicle.  It depends on the route you’ll be plying.

Any time of the year, you should have some basics like water and some munchies. (No damn it.  Not those kind of munchies, this ain’t Colorado, dude. I mean real food! ) Throw in basic emergency supplies for your car (flares, air pump, fix-a-flat, jack, flashlight) and some means of protection (you always have that on you, don’t you?) and you have a good start.

Summer is easy. Not much above the basics are mandatory, although I’d throw in some bug repellent and extra hydration.

For winter, warm clothing is paramount (boots, hat, gloves, blankets).  A shovel is good.  Toss in some bags of something for weight, too. I use water softener salt; adds weight for traction and I’ll end up using it eventually for its stated use.  It also can be pressed into use for traction under your tires. (Reminds me of some folks I came across one winter. Stuck in the snow and putting floor mats under their rear tires for traction. Might have worked if it hadn’t been a front wheel drive vehicle. (And worse, these type of people breed).

And best advice; if you do not need to be out, stay in. When old man winter is over-achieving, there’s nothing like a warm fire in the fireplace, warm mug of cocoa in your hand, and a warm spouse and warm puppy belly to rub.  Staying in sure beats the alternative which can be frustrating at best, or deadly at the worst. Ask any cop, firefighter, EMT or wrecker driver. They’ll tell you how many times they’ve attended scenes where lives were tragically changed, or ended, in an instant on hazardous roads.

And don’t forget to say a quick prayer for those in the emergency services and medical care field who can’t take snow days, who absolutely have to "get there" and go to work.


No comments:

Post a Comment