The 2014 Snow in Atlanta was sort of a surprise. As near as I can tell, the various weather services upgraded the alert in the wee hours of the morning, so people probably were not aware of the upgrade. However, all weather sites that I have seen have up to a 10-day forecast. You can – and should – know what to anticipate in most situations.
There are many apps for many mobile devices. There are radios. There is television. There are even – wait for it – still newspapers around! Figure out the best way for you to be notified of bad weather, and sign up for it. Then . . . look at it every day.
If cold weather is expected:
- Pack an emergency bag for the vehicle. Include extra socks, mittens, hats, and some blankets. This emergency blanket is cheap and compact. Be careful about taking off on foot away from your vehicle, as well. It is easier than expected to get lost in the snow, lose your footing and incur an injury, or get hit by a passing, out-of-control car. Stay where you are, with your blanket and bag, so that emergency personnel can find you!
- Charge up the phone, and keep a charger in the car. This will keep you in contact with emergency personnel should you find yourself in a snow ditch.
- Keep the vehicle full of gas. This will make it possible for you to run the heater on the vehicle for as long as possible. Start the car, get warm, and then shut it off until you get cold again.
- Put a light emergency blanket in your child’s school bag. In Atlanta, 2014, school children were stranded on school buses.
- Work out a plan to get back together in case your family is scattered and stranded.
If hot weather is expected:
- Pack an emergency bag for the vehicle. Include water. I know it’s been reported of late that women should not drink water from overheated plastic bottles. Trust me – if you are stranded in the heat, it will be okay to drink that water this time. Include a light weight change of clothes in case you are in business attire when you become stranded. Don’t forget a pair of sturdy shoes and a pair of socks in case you have to walk.
- Charge up the phone and keep a charger in the car. This will keep you in contact with emergency personnel should you find yourself stranded along a hot, desolate road. Include water.
- Keep the vehicle full of gas. This will make it possible for you to run the A/C on the vehicle for as long as possible. Start the car, get cooled down, and then shut it off until you get hot again. Include water.
- Pack a foil package of water in your child’s school bag. Anticipate the time when your child would be dire straits – perhaps a certain number of hours after they should have been off the bus – and instruct the child not to drink it until that time, and then ONLY if they are stranded.
- Pack water everywhere!
- Did I mention to stock up on water?
In all weather:
- Have a spare tire and a jack that works with your particular vehicle. That used to be a given, but it is not anymore.
- Have a pair of functional battery cables in each vehicle, and know how to use them.
- Have water and oil in your car in case you literally blow a gasket. (The water will also come in handy if you figuratively blow a gasket!)
- Always keep sturdy, comfortable shoes in case you have to walk. And socks!
Watch the weather! It is so much easier now than in the olden days, when we only had a rock to look at. Remember the rock? If it was wet, we knew it was raining. If it was white, we knew it was snowing. Now, you can know what is coming in time to prepare! Just do it!