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A gift of advice from your Safety Santa

Posted 12/3/2012   Updated 12/3/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by TSgt. Brian Boynton
439th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


12/3/2012 - WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. -- It is that time of year when New Englanders prep for the extreme weather events that seem to be part of the Holiday Season. I started early this year and put snow tires on my car in August. They melted before I was half way home.

The following items are suggestions, not in order of importance and not meant to be the only items you should carry in your car or stock at home.

For the Auto:

- Baby Wipes: (comfort item year round) stored inside the car.

- Folding shovel: (I have a $5.00 E-tool knock-off that can chop away at ice as well.)

- Snow-ice scraper/ brush

- A can of dry gas: Stored in the trunk during cold months.

- Hand crank or battery flashlight and radio, matches or lighter.

- First aid kit.

- Water: I keep a small pack with items that I don't want to freeze in the car and bring it with me when I travel more than 15 minutes from home.

- Food: MRE's, trail mix, protein bars stored inside the car.

- Road side flares or reflectors, tire chains, a can of fix-a-flat or a portable air compressor stored in the trunk.

- Never have less than ¾ tank of gas at any time. Think of a half tank as empty.

- Small tool kit stored in the trunk.

- Even a small bucket of sand is a useful item.

- Your old combat boots.

- Power inverter: Used for charging your personal electronics. This is especially nice to have if you lose power at home. They are priced as low as $40.00 and will charge laptops and small devices.

- An old coat: Use your old Gortex and stuff its sleeves with items like socks, hat (full pullover) and gloves. They can be used in lieu of a sleeping bag or blanket.

- Change your engine oil to a thinner grade for the winter, flush your radiator, have your brakes, tires, wipers, belts and hoses checked BEFORE the cold air arrives. Some "quicky lube" places will check all belts, hoses, sensors and water pump along with the radiator f lush. Look for a convenient location where you can shop for presents for a few hours while they work on your car. You not only score a decent parking spot at the Mall but your car will be in a heated garage while you shop.

For the Home:

- Baby wipes: This is a comfort and Hygiene item, especially if you have a well pump that stops working when the power goes out.

- Candles, matches, rechargeable lanterns, cheap outdoor solar lights work great indoors and are safe.

- Hand crank or battery flashlight and radio.

- Nonperishable foods, MRE's, comfort food, bottled water: The heater bags in the MRE's make for a nice hot and safely cooked meal when the power is down, and the kids love them. It passes the time and gives them something fun to do. (Teach them how to trade items back and forth.)

- Portable power box: They are cheap and easier to store then a generator and they do not use fuel so they can be stored and used indoors. You can charge them in your car if you have a power inverter and cannot get to a power source during the day.



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