Down in the Southern states, we just had what we called #SnowJam 2014. A greater than expected, faster than usual, snow storm whirled through Atlanta, leaving 3″ of snow on top of some icy sheeted roads. Schools, businesses, daycares, etc all closed at the sight of flurries, but by the time 600,000 cars and buses hit the highways, it was too much at the same time. A perfect storm of weather, ice, traffic and wreckage caused some people’s commutes to go from 40 minutes to 22 hours. In an effort to get you home safely the next time you experience winter conditions, Tindol Ford has generously sponsored this post for me to share my own tips to guide you along these southern snowy roads!
Have a Family Kit in the Car: When our family welcomed Red into the world, we put a family kit in the car (separate from the diaper bag). It consisted mostly of a few diapers, a change of clothes and some formula. This was in case Red’s diaper leaked on his clothes, we were caught out at a friend’s house longer than usual, etc. But as he’s gotten older, we have continued to update the kit with larger clothes, snack bars, a bottle of water and a small first aid kit. Most of my friends think I’m addle brained to have such a kit in the car, but #SnowJam 2014 would have been the perfect use! Try packing yourself a mini first aid, children’s needs or even just a few shelf stable snacks for an unexpected emergency.
Lower your Tire Pressure: If you must be out in the ice, or if you’ve gotten stuck trying to get home, try deflating your tires a tiny bit. The deflation causes added tire to make contact with the road, increasing your traction. This is another good reason to keep your tires fresh and within proper tread measurements.
Kitty Litter: Cat litter, of any make or brand can be an easy way to add needed traction to a slippery spot. Pour the litter on either side of your drive tires and slowly work your way out of the slippery spot. It may not always help to melt the ice, but the traction will stay intact.
Fill ‘er up!: When it’s cold, the vapors in a car to crystallize and cause your car to either start slowly, or not at all. Cars and trucks with 3/4 of a tank of gas or more are likelier to start in below freezing temperatures, snow notwithstanding. As a rule, as you’re rushing to get your bread, milk, diapers and eggs (better safe than sorry!!), fill up your car on the way home… Many people were stuck on the roadways for so long in #SnowJam 2014 that they couldn’t get off the roads even to fill up. Be gas smart. Have a small empty fill-up container in your truck – be ready for an emergency where AAA may not be able to get to you!
Take Charge(rs): Communication is key, and that holds true in a winter storm. Grab yourself a portable charger, a “juice box” or an old fashioned cigarette lighter converter to make sure that you can still call family, emergency staff or others.
Grab an Ice Scraper: Sure, it may be the South, but in my 16+ years that I’ve lived down in GA I’ve used my ice scraper at least every other year, a few days in a row. When you need visibility or simply to crack open your mailbox, a cheap, thick plastic ice scraper (*affiliate) does the job and won’t put you out more than $8. Be sure to take your car for a winter checkup, using antifreeze and other winterizing compounds to keep your vehicle thawed.
Stay Home!: When in doubt, stay home! Check your local news outlet for closings, and stay put! Even if you are confident with your driving skills, you can’t say the same for those other crazies out there. Or for mother nature. Telecommute, watch movies, play in the ice and snow. Be safe and enjoy your day off!