Sanders: Some helpful winter survival tips |

Sanders: Some helpful winter survival tips

We definitely are having a white Christmas this year! For several days leading up to the last big snow, we had a lovely fall.

Then the snow came and things got dicey. Travel plans throughout South Dakota were stopped before they ever got started.

In Rapid City, only a few inches of snow fell, but the way the wind whipped it around, residents were sure they would awaken to 3 feet.

As is normal, our little pocket around Hot Springs did not get struck nearly as hard as the surrounding area. We had 8 inches; Chadron had more.

“A winter survival kit in your vehicle is an absolute necessity; if possible keep it in a more accessible place than in your trunk.”

I kept hoping that everyone was hunkered in, had provisions and enough sense to stay put. Fortunately, most did. And the storm didn’t last long, even though more are forecast.

We are all mindful of those who are on the job or in volunteer positions to actually risk their own lives to help out: the police, fire departments and other emergency personnel. Of course, those of us who live in the country are especially thankful to the electrical linemen who might be required to go out to restore our power.

There is a lot of winter left so you can consider this a warning. Some of these winter hints I’ve come up with or have read in, include keeping your gasoline tank at least half-full.

I do it year round because of our distance to a major hospital and it should certainly be done during the winter. It doesn’t cost any more to keep a good quantity in the tank and it could save you time and heartache later on.

A winter survival kit in your vehicle is an absolute necessity; if possible keep it in a more accessible place than in your trunk. When you need to get out into the storm to get your winter gear you stand to lose valuable body heat.

Can you corral the pile of boots, coveralls, hat, coat and serious gloves into a big bag? Because that would be ideal. Keep your cell phone charged and have a car adapter to assist. We always hear about people being found in snowdrifts or off-road because their cell phone was a guide.

Check your prescriptions and other medications; plan to keep at least 10 days’ worth on hand. It is not always so easy to run to the local pharmacy for a refill in the middle of winter.

Consider your plan for home heat. Do you have a back-up plan, perhaps a generator (be sure to have extra gasoline in a can as you won’t have electricity to run the gas pump unless it is hooked to the generator) or some other type of nonelectric heat?

Perhaps a neighbor has a tractor and you make a plan that you would be rescued and taken to their home. Plan whatever you can think of, but try to figure out your possibilities before you are in dire straits. ❖


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