Thursday, November 29, 2012

The weather outside is getting chilly

                                             Preparing for Winter

Winter is approaching. We are having morning temperatures below freezing. In the South, we tend to just ignore it because by two o’clock we’ll be turning on the air-conditioning when we get in the car. Unfortunately tank-tops and flip-flops make a bad combination if you have car problems after the sun goes down.

It is time to get serious about having a container with winter gear. Most of us don’t pull down the box with gloves, hats and scarves until after Christmas. This year let’s be smart and prepare.

Clean out your glove box and make sure you have a pair of driving gloves and ear muffs (they don’t mess up your hair). You can scrape the windshield without freezing. Most of us rather shiver than go inside for a coat. After all, the car will warm up quickly.

Get in the practice of filling the car when the gas gauge reaches half full. This preparedness practice doesn’t add to the fuel budget. It is just a bit inconvenient because we’ve gotten used to waiting until the last minute to take the time to fill-up. It might prevent a dangerous situation if you get stuck on the expressway in a traffic jam running on fumes. Besides you never know when you might get a phone call about an emergency in the middle of the night. There is peace of mind to know you can hop in the car without fretting about a low fuel light.

Make sure you have your Winter Kit well-supplied:

·         Hat, gloves, scarf for those who typically ride with you

·         Reflective blankets (enough for all passengers) Look in Sporting Goods section

·         Rain gear (Cheap folding ponchos will work in a pinch)

·         Extra jackets

·         Flashlights and extra batteries

·         Candle in a container and matches (Just a small candle generates a good bit of heat)

·         Water bottles (pour about an inch out to prevent it from bursting if it should freeze)

·         Snacks (peanut butter crackers, granola bars, etc.)

·         Plastic drop cloth

·         Duct tape

·         Small towel so you can wipe down the windows if the defroster doesn’t work well

·         Wet wipes and paper towels to clean up the spill if you have to stop suddenly because someone skids on black ice.

·         Small first aid kit

·         Maps

This isn’t your car emergency kit or 72-Hour Go Kit.  It is just what you need to have for winter traveling. The extra clothes are also handy to have if temperatures suddenly drop when you set out on a beautiful mild morning. The water and snacks help out when your shopping trip takes longer than expected and the kids get cranky.

If you have children, be sure you include ENTERTAINMENT stuff. I ALWAYS have a book or an extra Bible in the car. That way I don’t get antsy if dear hubby takes extra time at one of HIS stores. He always has audio books on his MP3 player so is content while I browse Hobby Lobby or grocery shop.

If you don’t keep a cell phone charger in your car, consider investing in one. Ours tends to stay in DH’s truck. This is simple prudence. I just haven’t remembered to pick up an extra one. I also need to buy an extra can of de-icer for the car. Because the sun so quickly melts our ice, I just give the windows a quick spray before I leave the house in the mornings. Even in Georgia, ice storms can blow in at any time.

If you drive a van or a station wagon, it can take a while to heat up the vehicle. I have a gazillion throws in the attic. I’m putting one in the car for those in the back seat who are a bit chilly. Frankly they are a good idea to have any time. Lately I’ve been to meetings where I froze. I even have a nice winter poncho that would look stylish if I needed to wrap up. It goes in the car tomorrow! I just got up from the computer and pulled it out so I would not forget it when I packed for a weekend meeting tomorrow.

Have you noticed that you are thinking of more and more ways to be prepared for the NORMAL emergencies now that you are preparing for THE BIGGIES. We can trust God to enlarge our thinking and bring what we need to remembrance.

I am sure there are other items you have thought of that need to be in your Winter Kit. Please share them. Together we are better!

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