Wednesday, February 12, 2014
You should already have the things you need where you are so that you don't have to drive anywhere. Also, you should exercise safety where you are so you don't need to do things like drive to the hospital after ridding yourself of "cabin fever."
However, all that being said, there are a few reasons you might want to get in your car during an ice storm. You might need to use the car adapter to charge your phone or laptop in a power outage. You might also need to use something like a power inverter to run an important appliance. Or, your car's heater might be the best source of warmth you have.
At any rate, there are a few things you can do to protect your vehicle, keep it accessible in an ice storm, and to protect it from the ravages of ice and cold. Let's look at a few tips:
1. Top off your tank. If you need the car to recharge your electronics, or for warmth, or as a generator, that means you have to run the engine. That of course means you need fuel. A full tank is a cardinal rule in all preparedness; not just ice storms.
2. "Dock" your car. This means to move it to a safer area if you can't park in a garage and your driveway has "issues." "Docking" is a common term in areas prone to flooding where people park their car on higher ground during heavy rains. In our ice storm example, you may have a tree with overhanging limbs that could fall on your car if they accumulate ice. Or, the driveway might be kind of steep and you'd rather park on the level street.
3. Pre-treat your locks. Locks can freeze in cold weather, so pre-treat yours with a little squirt of WD-40. Just stick the nozzle inside and spray. If they still freeze up a little, you can gently heat your door key with a lighter to help melt the ice when you slide the key in the key hole.
4. Cover your car. In an ice storm, a sheet of ice will certainly form all over you vehicle and make it very difficult to get the doors or windows open. Putting a tarp or other cover over your car will keep it accessible pretty much all the time. Just be sure to anchor the tarp or cover in place so it doesn't blow off in windy conditions.
5. Keep the engine block warm. I extreme cold, the limits of your radiator's anti-freeze might be put to the test, and your engine block could crack. Or, your battery could freeze and prevent the engine starting at all. One thought is to run an extension cord out to your car and place a drop light with a 75 to 100 watt bulb (if you can still find any) to generate just enough heat under the hood to keep things from freezing solid. Or, you can run a cord and cover your engine with an electric blanket or heating pad.
For tips on winter driving, see our earlier post entitled "Driving in Winter Weather."
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
You need to record these things so you have a written copy of all assets and options at your disposal. If you're sitting in traffic that's going nowhere you'll want to know what's available to you at any point along your normal routes so you can make an informed decision on how to react.
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Saturday, February 09, 2013
Saturday, December 22, 2012
As we look at different sets of instruction and watch different videos, we keep seeing one thing: People don't know how to melt wax. Some folks put wax in a cup and put it over a flame (fire danger), some put it in a cup and then in a pan with a little water around it and call it a double boiler (again, fire danger). Others actually use a double boiler but you never see them cleaning up afterward (mess - wife danger).
Here's what we do.
We use an old crock pot with a double crondom (a "crock pot condom" or plastic bag liner you get at the grocery store), we drop in our old candles, crayons or whatever else we want to melt and then we turn it on low and wait. When it's all melted, we use a dollar store ladle, dip out what we need, and if possible we hold the container that is receiving the wax over the crock pot (no spillage).
Later we turn off the crock pot and when the wax has cooled and hardened, we just lift the bag out simply and cleanly and set it aside until the next time it needs to be melted. No muss, no fuss, no mess, no wasted time. Using a double liner as we do prevents breakage since we use them several times.
This has been another of the "zillions" of tips from "Disaster Prep 101."
Friday, December 21, 2012
Call your Board of Education.
Call your Senators and Representatives of your State Legislature.
Call and write your Senators and Representative in Washington, DC.
And then share this list with others.