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Surviving Blizzard On The Road And At Home

December 14, 2010 by  

Surviving blizzard on the road and at homeThe massive blizzard that barreled through the Midwest last weekend was not to be trifled with, as it left at least six people dead, according to media reports. The system, although weakened, is moving eastwards, so this may be a good time to remind residents to make sure they are safe and self-sufficient during severe weather.

As blizzard conditions set in, the safest thing to do is to stay off the roads. In fact, most casualties of winter weather occur in car accidents on slippery surfaces or when people freeze to death after becoming stuck in their vehicle.

If travel is absolutely necessary, individuals should carry a full tank of gas and be equipped with a survival kit that includes a shovel, windshield scraper, battery-powered radio and road salt, as well as emergency flares and a fluorescent distress flag.

In the event of becoming stranded in a car during a snowstorm, it is critical to keep in mind that the safest place to stay is inside. The engine should be run only for short periods of time to provide heat, and it's important to crack the windows sightly open to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. also recommends moving around at least once an hour, clapping hands and stomping feet to boost circulation and to avoid clots or frostbites.

Households located in areas prone to blizzards should keep stocks of non-perishable food items and bottled water throughout the winter.

Finally, it's important to shovel snow away from your home's walls, and remember to clear the roof with a rake, as excess snow weight can cause a roof to collapse.

Residents should also regularly clear areas around exhaust pipes and air vents to avoid accumulation of noxious gasses indoors.

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  • FlaJim

    Having lived up north for over 25 years, I might point out that of the recommendations listed, the was no mention of using a little common sense. Whether one is in a small sedan or a light truck, it doesn’t matter how great your tires are rated – slow down and be very vigilant. The slightest little error resulting from distraction or over-steering can lead to catastrophic results.

    Assume you may not make it safely, so always dress for the weather as though you were walking.

    Too many idiots don’t turn on their lights in bad weather. Make sure yours are on and watch out for those who leave theirs off.

    Common sense: stock up your vehicle, prepare for the worst, and hope it never happens.

    • ValDM

      Having lived in an area that had fickle weather, I always used to carry a large candle, space blanket, water and non-perishable food in my vehicle, as well as tools to get me out of wherever I got stuck. Also, a coffee can or some such is absolutely necessary so you don’t have to get out to take care of the necessary.

    • JC

      Good stuff guys…
      Add to that, some chocolate for energy, and reflective signage to put 50 / 100 yds behind the car so you don’t get smoked while you’re sitting there.

      • http://?? Joe H.

        Don’t forget a couple of blankets, flares, and a source of flame if you have to leave your car!

  • Earl, QUEENS, NY

    Hey, where’s Al Gore?? Has he given a global warming (fraudulant) speech lately?? Everytime he opens his big mouth, we see colder and icier climate!! It’s not even officially winter yet here in New York, but already many of us are longing for spring!!

  • JimH

    Hi Earl, What ever Al is doing it worked. I’m freezeing my tail off. He can stop now.

    • 45caliber

      Apparently he’s come up with a solution to “global warming”. But I don’t know what it is. Keeping his mouth shut, maybe.

  • AZsenior

    After living in Northern IL, then Northern IN for about 35 years and
    suffering through way too many snowstorms and blizzards, the light bulb finally came on. I then moved my family to Phx, AZ and now view these weather reports with a wry grin.

    My brother also moved out here a while ago from Elkhart, IN, one of the most depressed areas in the country. Right now temps are at a record high of 80 degrees and when I told him mom called and said temp was 21 degrees and snowing, he had the nerve to laugh out loud.

    That’s how we prepare for a blizzard. Fire up the grill and watch it
    on TV. Works for me.

  • AZsenior

    Forgot to leave a constructive tip my family used when living up north.
    I had a CB radio in both vehicles. They can prove valuable when your
    cell phone dies, of course when I was up there cell phones weren’t even
    a choice. I also kept a bag of sand, a blanket and shovel as well as
    one of those nylon tow straps in the trunk.

    • JimH

      AZ senior, Enjoy your 80 degrees. Here in Northern Il. (your old stomping grounds) we are enjoying a balmy 15 degrees. Time to go warm up the car. Enjoy the cook out.

  • 45caliber

    Luckily, this isn’t a real problem for me here. I live about an hour’s drive south of Houston.

  • http://com i41

    I live about 200 miles S. of the Canadian border and I take blizzards and the cold any day over heat. Being over run with illegals and high taxes. The cold isn’t such a problem if you stay prepared and wear enough closes!

    • http://?? Joe H.

      Speak for yourself! I’m arthritic!! I’ll take the dry heat anyday!!!

    • AZsenior

      agree with Joe H and i41, having lived close to Canada myself and having
      been there several times, can only think you really are not sure of what
      you speak of or are in self denial. My brother just moved out here just before summer hit. He agreed it was hot, but said not much worse than the humidity and heat from the Elkhart, IN area. Now he is loving life and we watch the news and snowstorm videos and chuckle. As my uncle says of here versus midwest, I’ll take 3 months of hot weather and 9 months of perfect weather over the opposite any time. I agree. My a/c costs are a ton less than my fuel oil costs in IN.

      High taxes ?? Are you kidding me? Don’t forget, I lived back there.
      Over run with illegals. Yes, AZ is the main gateway, but with our new
      law they keep right on moving to CA and points north. They don’t much
      stay here. Tell me about how much you spend on heat every year. How often are you delayed by weather? Me, never. The only heat needed is at night when the sun goes down. Or maybe like today a little when it rains which is rare. I’ve never slid off the road and got stuck in a
      sundrift. And my former snow shovel has been renamed a sand shovel and
      hangs in the shed, untouched. But I look at it once in a while as a

      But I’m glad you like it where you are. We already have too many
      people on our roads. lol To each his own and that’s all good.

      • http://?? Joe H.

        I don’t get stuck anymore, manly because except for the few years I was in the tropics with uncle sugar, I have been driving in this weather for 43 years.(legally)

  • dolar paralelo

    Hey there, You have done an incredible job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this site.


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