Whether you’re just visiting a colder climate for the winter holidays, or you’ve relocated to an area with cold winter conditions unfamiliar to you; be prepared and protect yourself and your family, your home and your automobile.

For sleeping attire; get out your “longies” and flannel pajamas. Keep a robe handy to your bed for use when you get up. Put your flip-flops in the closet and get out some slippers with a sole and a warm lining. Wear heavier socks. Winter months mean storing your T-shirts and shorts away and switching to sweats, lightweight but warm sweaters with long sleeves. (Keep a couple of those T-shirts on hand to wear as an undergarment.) Invest in thermal undergarments.

A hot breakfast versus cereal with cold milk can make a big difference. Oatmeal, eggs and toast, pancakes or waffles or even a bowl of soup will take you farther. (Sprinkle some freshly made popcorn over a bowl of tomato soup for breakfast or lunch. It’s a treat that will help keep you warm.) Keep your carb’s up. Hot pasta dishes, a stove-top stew of potatoes and chunky vegetables are great tummy warmers. (Afraid of added weight? Your body will burn those carb calories keeping you warm. Or get out there and move some snow; it’s great exercise.)


Prepare an “emergency” kit, keep it well-stocked and educate everyone in your household where it will be stored. Keep it within reach of anyone over three feet of height. Your kit should include:

  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Candles and a lighter or plenty of matches. (Wrap them in a plastic bag to help keep them dry) You might have a battery operated lamp or an oil lamp. (Do not store an oil lamp with oil in it. Keep this flammable liquid tightly sealed and separate until you need to use it.)
  • A battery operated radio
  • Foodstuffs – Keep foods on hand that can be eaten cold.
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned meats such as tuna or shredded beef
  • Cereals that can be eaten dry
  • Chocolate bars or a couple bags of chocolate chips
  • Plenty of water
  • A small, propane operated camping stove and at least two extra canisters of propane. (Do not ever, ever use a charcoal-type camping or cooking unit indoors!)

Avoid driving in weather conditions such as a blizzard, extreme cold and high winds or in rural areas of your community. Know where you are. Before you leave your starting point, advise a family member, friend or neighbor of your destination and judge the approximate duration of the trip. If possible, contact those persons if you will be delayed. Notify them when you reach your destination.

Prepare an emergency kit to keep in your trunk containing:

  • Flares
  • Flashlight and batteries (keep in the glove box or inside the vehicle)
  • Candles and a lighter or matches (keep them dry in a sealed, plastic bag
  • Battery operated radio
  • Spare batteries for your cellphone and flashlight
  • 2 bags of sand (one on each side of the trunk, near the wheel wells. This will provide added traction while driving and the sand can be used around your tires if you become stuck.)
  • A camping shovel
  • At least one sleeping bag, preferably one that is down.
  • Water
  • Foodstuffs that can be eaten cold. (Described in Item number 4.)
  • A small First Aid kit
  • A small tool kit, a jack that works and a spare tire in usable condition, and jumper cables.

If you become stranded in your car, FIRST test your cell phone. If it has reception, call an emergency number first, then call the persons that are aware of your route and your travel time schedule. Test the cell phone periodically. Do not try to walk over for help. Exit the car ONLY to recover items from the trunk.

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