A Blizzard Kit For Home And Vehicle
Snowstorms and blizzards are common in northern states, and
blizzards are most likely to appear where there is the possibility of extreme
cold and high winds. Blizzards differ
from ordinary snowstorms in several respects – the temperature will be very
low, zero or less, the wind speed will be above 35 miles per hour, whiteout
conditions mean that visibility is below one quarter of a mile, and blizzards
last for more than 3 hours, often going on for days, in fact. These are dangerous storms, and can present
hazards whether you are on the road or at home.
What You Will Need At
The high winds accompanying blizzards can often knock down
electric lines, with the result that there will be no central heating and the
lights will be out. This is a time when
it is important to have emergency supplies available. Your stored water will be important now, as
will emergency food. As some source of
heat should be available to prevent hypothermia. If you have a wood burning stove, even a
small one, this can be used to keep the house warm. However, a kerosene heater is another
alternative heating source that can be used during a power outage. There are no installation issues with a
kerosene stove, unlike a wood stove. Make sure that you have enough kerosene stored
to keep the heater going for the duration of the storm and until electric
service is restored.
Whiteout conditions will mean that it is dangerous to leave
your home at all during a blizzard. If
you anticipate that you will need to go to an outbuilding during a blizzard,
for supplies or to take care of animals, use a rope stretched between the house
and the barn or shed to make certain that you will be able to find your way
back again. A significant number of
people have frozen to death in their own back yards during a blizzard.
Your Car Kit
While some blizzards give warning before they strike, often
a regular snowstorm will expand into a blizzard. Most people work away from home, so there is
a good chance that you can be caught on the road during a blizzard. In some cases, it will be possible to proceed
to your home, but very often a lack of visibility or sliding off the road into
a ditch will mean that you will be stranded in your car. The first thing to remember is never to leave
the car – it is very easy to get lost during a blizzard.
Hopefully, you will have a blizzard kit in the car to help
see you through the wait. The kit should
contain water and high energy food such as emergency bars or candy bars are
best. As the temperatures will be very
cold, you should have a blanket or two in the car and warm clothing. A cell phone would be very handy so that you
can call out to indicate that you need assistance.
In order to keep warm while waiting for help, you can run
the car for 15 minutes out of every hour, but make sure you keep a window
cracked to provide adequate ventilation.
Also check that the snow is not blocking the tailpipe, and clear it away
if it is. Tie a cloth to the car’s
antenna to signal that you need help.