Washington DC January 2016 – We all knew it was coming. The storm of the century was on a collision course for most of the East coast. TV weather personalities from around the nation were sending out red flag warnings and still the Traffic accidents piled up and the freeways became 24-48 parking lots from Kentucky to DC and up into NY.
Winter driving traffic nightmares happen all to often int he big cities and on the freeway systems in America where the roads are bilt to handle slick conditions or nervous drivers. The best most of can hope for if we have to travel in these conditions is that we are not the ones int he accident or the delays wont be too bad.
However, the Storm the hit the east coast this month caused families to sit in their cars overnight and into the next day in many cases as roads were cleared from the storm an accident ahead of them. As we watched the news reports we heard repeated words like no food or water, nothing to keep us warm, no communication or news reports.
And yet these all could have been avoided by every single driver and family with a little preparation.
I remember as kid, learning to drive my dad always reminding me in the fall to place a gallon of water in the car, and extra pair of clothes and a blanket and a few snacks. And as every child listening to their dad, I ignored him also at times. But eventually, it sunk in as I found myself stranded one evening int eh mountains of Oregon after hitting black ice and crashing into the side of a mountain at 1 am int he morning. The spare clothes and blanket helped me stay warm until help arrived, the water and food helped calm my nerves.
Here are my tips for winter Car prep:
- Add a one-gallon jug of water or 4 – 1 liter bottles of water to your trunk or under the seats.
- Pack an extra set of socks, pants and long sleeve shirt. helpful at all times for when car breaks down or your get wet on a trip you always have clean and warm clothes to put on.
- Pack a bag of snacks – Jerky, Mini Candy bars, Nuts etc… Place in glove box or travel tote.
- Blanket – size a variety options are personal. I like the little lap blankets, but have at times used a space survival blanket, and even an old quilt depending on how cold it was outside and where I was traveling.
- Noaa Radio – communication once the cell phones die but also reat fo following emergency alerts.
- Flashlight – Comfort of light when you have to get out int eh dark or look for any item in the car. Again flashilight on phone will work but waste your battery.
- Inflatable pillow – Luxury item for certain but sleeping with your head on the side of a cold window is neve enjoyable.
- Inflate a potty – this might soud a little absurb, but what value can you place on being able to go to the bathroom if you are stranded int he middle of the highway for 24 hours? Yes it brings it own set of challenges and priviacy issues but it is easily inflated, and very convientent when needed.