Welcome to our second year of “Project S.P.L.A.T.”
For February 2011 we will concentrate on Preparing Your Vehicle for Emergencies in Winter.
You need to make sure your gas tank is never more than ½ low, if you are delayed in traffic due to weather or trapped in your car, you don’t want to have to abandon your car because you have run out of gas.
From September to April always carry your emergency supplies such as a good spare tire, chains, a small shovel, maps, and jumper cables. Teach everyone in your family how to use these items in case you are unable.
You will need to carry easy to get to food for “fuel”. If you are stuck in your car for several hours, or even a couple of days, you will NOT need water as much as you will need food. Do not melt ice and drink that as you may become hypothermic (body temperature goes too low). Once it is melted and cool not cold it would be OK to drink.
If you are ever trapped in you car in the snow and you run the engine to keep you warm, you will need to get out and check your exhaust pipe often to make sure it is not clogged with snow to prevent affixation.
Having a charged cell phone along with a car charger is a good idea, however, it is even better to let someone else know where you are going and the route you will take. Tell them you will call them when you arrive at your destination and if you don’t call be a certain time, have them try contacting you. If they don’t make contact, they need to contact a local law enforcement agency to seek help to look for you. Be sure to let them know of any medical issues you or anyone with you may have or medication you or those with you need regularly, in some cases this could be a life threatening situation.
If bad weather is coming you will need to weigh the risks of braving it, trying to drive or just getting a hotel room and waiting it out. If you are trapped during a road closure you may be stuck in an area with sold out motels and forced to stay in your car. If this happens look for shelters set up in these towns. If you have local law enforcement numbers they should be able to steer you to a shelter.
Additional supplies you would want would be extra clothing, a good pair of boots, some cash and a sleeping bag. Many people travel to funerals, church activities, and meetings in good clothes. If you become stuck in bad weather you will want comfortable warm clothes and a good winter coat.
Project S.P.L.A.T. is brought to you by the Millard County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Robert A. Dekker and Millard County CERT.