Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Winter Vehicle Equipment - Prep Tip 2

Most of us travel in some manner each day. This entry is for those that use automobiles.
Keep in mind that with the advent of smaller vehicles comes space and weight considerations.

Still, a visit to the local supermarket and mall shows that about 50% of the vehicles are SUV's, Vans, Trucks or Crossovers.

Travel distances, geographic location/climate, number of occupants will dictate additional vehicle safety requirements. Finances may also dictate how soon you can acquire what you need. you may have multiple vehicles in your family...so maybe a portable kit for longer travels?

Equipping all vehicles similarly will help you avoid getting stuck with nothing. Make choices from the list below. We had a little help from the Wilderness Learning Center of Chateaugay, NY

Items and vehicle checks to consider having on board for the cold winter season:

[ ] Ice Scraper/Snow Brush
[ ] AAA / CAA or similar emergency road hazard insurance membership
[ ] Spare Tire of Emergency Tire - Fully Inflated
[ ] Winter Wiper Blades - New for Winter
[ ] Winter oil/filter change suggested - Spare Oil
[ ] Radiator flush/fill (2 Years) - 20 degrees below lowest expected temp
[ ] Maintain low temperature wiper fluid - spare gallon in vehicle
[ ] Fully charged car battery - 5 years is rule of thumb for most
[ ] Engine belts/hoses/cables/connections should be new/not cracked
[ ] Mark headlight/signal bulb numbers on the housing - carry spares
[ ] Carry Spare 911 Cell Phone - Secure from Damage
[ ] Collapsible Snow Shovel - regular square shovel is preferred
[ ] Containerized ice melt - best on glare ice (5-10Lbs)
[ ] 30 Minute Road Flares 6-12 / Road Strobes with lithium batteries
[ ] Tire Chains - Mandated in some areas (e.g. Colorado)
[ ] Snow Tires - best in winter - studded for backcountry
[ ] Dry Gas additive - Isopropyl Alcohol suggested.
[ ] Reflectorized / Insulated Winter Work Gloves
[ ] Reflectorized Vest /high viz wind & water resistant outer wear
[ ] Tow/Recovery Straps - Know the difference!
[ ] Trailer Hitch Receiver Mounted Tow Hook/Tow Strap Loop
[ ] Radiator Stop Leak / Hose Repair Tubes/Clamp Kit
[ ] Tire Repair Kit
[ ] Emergency Tire Inflator/Sealer - (Be prepared to replace tire)
[ ] High Intensity Durable Flashlight - Spare Bulbs /Batteries (lithium)
[ ] Synthetic top/pants, layered shirts/jackets/liner & boot socks/thermal underwear
[ ] Watch Cap, Balaclava, Neoprene Face Mask or combination, liner gloves/mittens
[ ] Spare Winter Boots - consider distances you might walk in these shoes
[ ] Spare Gas Container 2 1/2 gallon - mark with name/vehicle reg #
[ ] High Visability Distress Flag
[ ] Water Displacing Spray Lubricant - Fluid Film/WD-40 Suggested
[ ] Fire Extinguisher - Dry Chemical 2A BC
[ ] Hatchet / Axe / Folding Saw(?)
[ ] Heavy Gauge Jumper Cables (4-6 ga)
[ ] Electric Power Supply - Jumper Combo Devise - Small Inverter
[ ] Garbage Bags - Large Contractor Colored
[ ] Canned Candles /Heaters / Coffee Can/Boat Matches/Windproof Lighter
[ ] Military 90MPH Duct Tape Roll of Bailing Wire
[ ] Self Heating MRE's or Food Rations Canned Nuts/Dried Fruit/Water
[ ] Tool Kit - Multi-function tools English/Metric /Torx/Hex Wrenches / Knife
[ ] Emergency Blankets/Bags & Wool/Fleece Blankets/Sleeping Bag
[ ] First Aid Kit - Spare Critical Medications 3-5 days
[ ] Road Maps - Compass - Spare Reading Glasses
[ ] Come - Along Device - two 3/4" Plywood Squares as Jack Support
[ ] Chemical Hand/Foot Warmers

Seems like a lot.....some of these items may be on board your go bag or part of another vehicle kit. There are a number of nylon higly durable containers/bags to house all this safely and neatly. If you have a truck and a tool box...you have room. Been there. Thule/Yakima boxes will allow you to carry this stuff as well.

Monday, November 17, 2008

ICE Sticker Tests

This sticker has been affixed to this traffic sign for about 6 months with no apparent UV damage. It was placed facing the sun and without defacing the sign.
The ICE sticker Affixed to the rear window of the SUV has been there for 3 months with no apparent wear...northern climate weather not hot & humid but now rain, cold and snow.

Update: ICE4SAFETY has 2x2 Stickers on hand now and will place them online for use in/on vehicles and for Emergency Planning and Identification requirements. 12-19-08

Monday, November 3, 2008

Prep Tip - Canned Food Supplements

As a follow up to the previous blog entry about MRE's, we would like to also bring to your attention another excellent way to supplement your food storage and preparedness efforts using high quality and nutritious canned foods. One brand we tested recently was Yoder's.

Canned cooked meats that can store for up to 10 years and actually taste good and don't "bite back" from gristle, bones and fat. Our understanding is that the manufacturers are Amish folks and our experience is they are quite particular in their food preparation efforts.

Having several cans or cases of bacon, turkey, chicken, hamburger (yes - and it is actually high quality) on hand versus a run to the local market in a snowstorm or other calamity can be an awfully welcome feeling and nutritional boost. Best part is the food is already cooked and requires little or no preparation.

From a cost effective perspective, the use of this supplemental foodstuff has merit and can be less costly than the production of hot meals for delivery. Social service agencies might provide some initial training and recipes for nutitional meals that will go a long way toward creating self sufficiency over dependency.

For a preparedness store - this is ideal for shelter in place or remote camping shelters or retreats. One concern there would be weight. Another is temperature. Storing these canned foods at below 70 degrees can significantly extend their useful shelf life. Stored below 60 degrees can extend shelf life beyond 10 years. Some foods found in cans over 40 years old have been found to be safe to eat...maybe not appealing to look at but they will keep you alive.

You can learn more about the Yoder canned foods and some taste testing at http://www.campingsurvival.com/

You can also learn about various MRE's and Yoder foods at http://www.mredepot.com/

More to follow....