Monday, December 10, 2007

Emergency Preparation: Snowstorm

We had our first real snowstorm this weekend and we pretty much sat it out at home. Just as it was getting going I ran to the store for a few items to make our lives easier. Getting there and back wasn't too bad though it was a freezing fog/drizzle thing that was sticking to cars and trees but the roads were not remotely as bad as this. I found that the wipers were practically useless The tips of the blades did some work but the part right in front of my face just didn't do anything except smear so it was easier to just use a hand squeegee before moving. The supermarket is only a couple of blocks away and that wasn't bad at all.

I don't like going on the roads during the first major snow event since most people have forgotten how to driver over the summer. The roads were warm enough that it wasn't slippery but that changed rapidly. It was much smarter just to stay home and ride it out. It doesn't really matter if the road is all that icy do the right thing at the right speed (maybe that should be the wrong thing at the wrong speed) and your tires will break free of the traction to the road. Once we were driving back from the airport in SLC and we were following a pickup carrying a pile of light brown slabs. We had a fair amount of room 4-5 car-lengths when something about a square meter and several inches thick fell out the back. Slamming on the brakes and turning the wheel don't do nothing about changing direction. We were just skidding down the road still in a straight line right at the chuck of brown stuff. When it bounced off of the front of the car I realized it was foam rubber, but my relief was short-lived as the car finally started reacting to the fact I slammed on the brakes and turned the wheel at 70 mph several seconds ago. After hitting the stops on the wheel a few times I was, with God's help, able to recover from the skid but we stopped on the side of the road for a few minutes to allow our heart-rates to drop to something more reasonable.

Since it is winter it is a good idea to have a survival kit on the car. With our recent move things are all over the place and we have to find or recreate one. A big bag of GORP and some space blankets at the least would help. The scrapper is already in the car as is a brush so that is a start. We are also carrying our HT around all the time too.

Another things we should make up is a flu kit. It also seems that flu season is in full swing. I got a shot and out daughter got a nasal spray but my wife is allergic to the standard flu shot and they didn't have any of the other kind so she is doing without for now.
One cool thing they found was an oral rehydrating solution,

You can make a simple homemade rehydration solution by mixing
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3 Tablespoons sugar into
• 4 cups (1 quart/~1 liter) of water or apple juice
and drinking it slowly.

Like sports drinks, it tastes horrible if you are fine but wonderful if you are sick.

We are supposed to get more snow tomorrow so we'll go get a few things today.

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