Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Are You Prepared to Be Stranded?

It seems a bit ridiculous that two inches of snow in Atlanta has managed to strand thousands of people in stores, schools, and businesses for more than a day but it has.  Which just goes to show that no matter where you are (even in places that don't usually get hard winter weather) or how you usually travel (a two hour commute each day there isn't unusual, but that distance certainly makes it unlikely to be able to leave your car and walk home), you need to be prepared to be stranded in the most unexpected times and places.  Here's how to be prepared for such an occasion:

  • Pay attention to the weather reports.  This storm was expected a couple of days out and anyone who has lived in Atlanta knows the city is NOT prepared for snow of any kind.
  • ALWAYS have your car BOB with you.
  • Have maps of the area you are traveling in (freeways were impassable but back roads may have helped people get around the traffic).
  • If there is even the slightest possibility of snow, carry tire chains (no one I know who lives in Atlanta even own car chains since snow is so rare there).
  • Always keep your car stocked and ready for the season (always extra food and water stored in your car, blankets and hand warmers during the winter, a tarp and rope during the summer, etc).
  • Make sure your BOB has a stock of important items you would need if you were stranded for two or more days (additional prescription meds, a charger for your cell phone, etc).
  • If you commute more than a few miles or you are on a trip, never let your gas gauge fall below half.
  • Stay with your car unless you are close enough to seek shelter somewhere else (like Home Depot and many restaurants that were allowing stranded people to camp over night).  

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