Be prepared for winter sports travelPosted: January 4, 2012
Winter has finally hit our part of the country. We’d been expecting a rough one, based on the very plush fur on the dog’s belly, fat neighborhood squirrels, and the Accuweather.com prediction.
Well, it’s definitely here now, and way past time to get the winter weather emergency kit together before we head out for a game and end up stranded for two days like those folks on the 402 outside Sarnia last year. Or at least make sure we’ve got a 6-pack in the back like this guy who, though woefully unprepared, survived 60 hours stranded in Alaska by drinking Coors beer slushies.
I was a Girl Scout, however briefly, and I did learn something. Be prepared by making sure you’ve got the regular road emergency kit in the car, or your handy dandy Trophy Mom bag full of goodies, including some first aid stuff, ziplock baggies, hand warmers and a rain poncho. Then for winter, add
- fleece blankets, which layered with the rain poncho, can keep you really warm and dry
- bottles of water and snacks with protein
- small bag of sand or kitty litter to provide some traction if you get stuck
- a hand crank radio with flashlight
- folding shovel or small kid shovel so you can dig out if you slide into a snow bank
- extra hats, gloves and boots
- cell phone charger
Get your kit together
You can assemble the items yourself, or buy a kit, like this AAA 65-Piece Winter Severe Weather Travel Kit, listed on Amazon for about $40 or choose one from the Home Depot’s extensive selection. In addition, read Lifehacker.com for winter emergency kit suggestions. And FEMA, of all people, has advice for winter storms and extreme weather in general, as well as ways to winterize your car.
On the trail
When you head out, make sure you’ve got a full tank of gas, plenty of wiper fluid and are dressed appropriately for the weather. Wear the cute shoes if you want, but throw your boots in the car. Drive on main roads, which are more likely to be plowed or salted, and give yourself plenty of extra time so you’re not tempted to travel faster than you should in poor conditions. This is also the time to put the snow tires on, if you have them.
Finally, read these tips from ABC News on how to survive if you get stuck in the snow. Take it for what it’s worth–I noticed that they don’t mention anything about Coors beer slushies.
While winter driving is a necessity, please keep it in perspective. If the roads are really dangerous, stay home. A kid’s hockey game isn’t that important when weighed against your family”s safety.
Safe travels on the roads and if you have some good winter travel tips, please share them.