Nine Tips for Being Prepared in a Snow Driving Disaster and a Plea for Mercy

If you live in New England you know that we saw record amounts of snow in the month of January and you have probably already heard the forecast that February will be starting off with a punch, another snow ice storm headed our way. There is no mercy.

If you are anything like me you are sick and tired of shoveling and wondering where on earth (or at least on my little patch of it) am I going to put more snow. The snow banks on either side of our driveway are already 5+ feet high.

Now I consider myself a tall strong woman, shoveling through storm 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 didn’t faze me much. Storm 4 was a challenge as I had to sling the snow higher and further than before. I am now thinking that I will have to develop some supernatural- gravity fighting- ability to shovel snow over a bank that is taller than I am and far enough out that it doesn’t come rolling back down in order to deal with this next one.

Maybe I should have sat down at the beginning of this winter with a large map of our property and drawn out a snow removal plan, maybe I should have gone into this with a strategy, a master plan. But alas, here I am with no plan, snow banks up to my eyeballs and wondering if I will see my grass ever again.

There is a lot to be said for being prepared. Even though a master snow removal plan has eluded me it has had me thinking a lot about all of my family and friends out on the road driving around in these snowy ice conditions and has inspired me to share a couple of things you can do to make sure you are prepared when you head out on the road this winter. A few of this tips I learned from my Grandpa, who was never without some preventative advice, and others I have learned from experience and heard on the news.

1. Never let your gas tank go under half a tank (thanks Grandpa). He always told me to pretend that half full was almost empty. This way no matter what the conditions, traffic accident on the highway, emergency in the middle of the night or unexpected (or expected) bad weather you are never at risk for running out of gas. Certainly the night before a storm it is a very good idea to fill your tank.

2. Never leave the house without a warm jacket (again thanks grandpa) Even if you are just running to the store or gas station, your car is already warm or you already have a jacket at the office, there is no guarantee that you will make it where you are going. Even if someone were to rear-end you at the traffic light you don’t want to be standing out in the cold in just a t-shirt. Having gloves and a hat in your car is also a very good idea.

3. Cell phone charger in your carĀ  (okay grandpa has been gone for a few years and didn’t have a cell phone, but if he did I am sure he would have advised having a car charger) I am the worst culprit of running around with a half charged cell phone and have more than once been on my way home late a night with a dead cell phone and no charger thinking what if I were to get in an accident, I would have no way of calling for help. Buy a car charger – keep it in your vehicle at all times.

4. A warm blanket – if you get stranded on the road and your car won’t start or you run out of gas (see #1 on how to avoid running out of gas) it will get chilly, having a warm blanket could help you survive freezing temperatures.

5. A candy bar/ protein bar of your choice – This way if you get really, really stranded, like the kind of stranded that makes national news where you are undiscovered for days and days, you can nibble on your candy bar of choice and when you are finally rescued you can attribute your survival to said candy bar and probably get a million dollar endorsement deal.

6. Flares – I just heard on the news about how important it is to have some. I always assumed the police put them out for you, but if the conditions are bad it make take the police a while to arrive and if you are in an accident that has compromised your cars electrical system your four way flashers may not work. I will be stopping at the store tonight to pick some up, if you have a vehicle emergency kit they might be included.

7. Flashlight – Again if your cars electrical system fails and you need to see stuff it would be helpful to have some light. Don’t take the sun or your dome lights for granted.

8. A Bag of sand – Next time you’re at the beach, okay just kidding and seriously I am doubtful that this snow will clear in time to go to the beach at all this summer. Don’t take sand from the beach, its probably illegal, but do try and have a bag of sand or some rock salt to sprinkle under your tires if you get stuck in the snow/ice.

9. An ice scraper – I just ran my last one over and cracked it to pieces (another good idea is to not throw your ice scrapper on the ground and then decide to move your car so you can get around it to get the snow off). If you are like m you might want to carry an extra.

Well there you have it, 9 really good ideas on how to be prepared. This list is not meant to be all inclusive, I am sure there are a lot of other things that could help save you in a bad situation, so do some Google searching if you really need a complete list. Listen to the news and the forecast and try to avoid going out in the storms if at all possible.

Of course do the proper vehicle maintenance to keep you car running smoothly and if you have a fender bender, an unfortunate run in with a snow bank (but I thought snow was soft?!?) or mechanical failure this winter call East Coast with your OEM replacement parts needs. We will be here, rain, snow, sleet or hail!


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