Thursday, January 09, 2014

Cold Weather Planning In Your Vehicle

For most of us in Northern Ontario this winter, these past few months have been crazy. It has been snowing, cold, windy, sometimes freezing rain and occasionally sunny. While we have been lucky enough to not have any freezing rain up here, I know folks who have. As I said, the weather here in Ontario is crazy this winter.
Because of all this, the boys have had a lot of snow days lately. In the midst of a conversation about traveling conditions for a school bus, it occurred to one of my parents that the van had no emergency kit should anything happen  during one of the trips to and/or from town. We live an hour away from town, by vehicle, and -30 is not the time to be stranded along a road! So it has been decided that the van needs some kind of emergency kit.

Top of the list, for winter, is a wool blanket or two, which can be easily found at a thrift shop. Barring wool, a fleece blanket will serve, but wool is the fiber of choice up here! Candles and a way to light them are of equal importance. A couple of small tea candles could keep the interior of a vehicle above freezing. Not as comfortable as home, but enough to keep us alive. Of equal importance, water. Bottles of water would need to be circulated and obviously NOT kept outside. There's no point in having 6 water bottles in the back of the van if they've all frozen and split, only to soak everything when the ice inside thaws. To my mind, this would require a small backpack that would need to be taken out and brought in before and after every trip. Yes, it takes a little more effort, but you can survive for weeks on only water. Not true with food.
Because one of the parents is diabetic, we will need some kind of food in the kit to keep those blood sugar levels up.

I'm thinking too that one of those signs that go in the windshield "Call Police" might be a good idea too. Especially since we, and by extension our cell phone, don't always travel with the folks.

Of course this is not a proper or complete list by any means...merely a jumping off point.

What about you? Do you have an emergency kit? Do you need to build one? What would go into, or is already, in yours?


Jacquelineand.... said...

Something Dad would have added...a small tube about 10 feet long so you can get air in case of being stuck in a drift, and rags to place in the crack of the window it's inserted through. Also, one of those orange flags to go on top of the tubing so it can be seen against the snow. Yes, Dad was a suspenders AND belt kinda guy.
We have an emergency winter kit, it also includes cat litter for traction and a small shovel. Oh, and don't forget a roll of t.p. and a covered bucket because nature WILL rear it's head.

Carolyn said...

Never thought of the tubing, good call! I did forget nature and Murphy, didn't I?
Thanks for the reminder!

linda M said...

Thats a good kit. We are also having horrible weather here. Infact during a blizzard a couple days ago, my husband was driving slowly along a curve and the wind blew our Yukon off the road and into a ditch. He and the car were okay but he was in a spot with poor visibility and could of been hit by another car as he tried to hitch hike to the nearest store. A friend happened by and picked him up but he was freezing! He had a kit that he sort of forgot about-including a blanket-in the car. I guess he was so worried about getting help that he forgot all of that! Be careful out there, yeah?

Carolyn said...

You bet we will, Linda! Thanks for the comment!

Laurel Nguyen said...

We have basic supplies in all of our cars. My husband's car has the most comprehensive kit (with a tent, emergency blanet, food water, etc.), because he works far from home. Our other two kits are not as comprehensive, because we rarely venture more than a couple of miles from home with those cars. Also, we live in a temperate climate and could most likely hike home before we needed any major supplies.