October 3, 2008 · Updated 1:48 AM
With winter weather now here in full bloom, I would like to make
a couple more suggestions regarding winter travel. If you are going over
the mountains, be sure to gas up in the last town before heading over the
pass eastbound, and again westbound on the return trip. Delays are to be
expected for snow conditions and control, and it is a little cold if you
happen to run out of gas while waiting for the clearance to proceed.
And please, keep your window partially open to avoid being overcome
with carbon monoxide. Would not hurt to have extra water, a little snack or
two, and some blankets. Just a thought. It sure has helped me over the years
from time to time.
Well, we got through Y2K without a hitch, and I understand
some people are taking back some of the equipment and so on they bought
for the occasion. For those of you who are retaining equipment and supplies,
a thought or two on that.
First of all, loss of power can come from a windstorm, heavy snow,
and earthquake, as well as from system failure. Thus, the generator
you bought might be worth hanging on to. Recent weather and several
earthquakes in the last few months might be an indication that having the
generator might be a good idea. The same for emergency lighting, extra
firewood for the wood stove or fireplace, etc.
If you retain a good amount of food, that requires a little closer
watch. Water after a few months kind of tends to start tasting funny, so use the
water and then rotate a new supply through every few months. Read the labels
on packaged food, and make sure that if there is an expiration date on the
contents, you use it in a timely manner and replace with new. As an
example, some juices will turn bad after a few months, and many have a
retirement date on the side of the bottle. Read
all food containers closely for retirement dates, and be sure to use it up and
then replace it.
Over the counter drugs, as well as prescription drugs, also have an
expiration date. If you use herbs and herbal supplements, they also do not last
forever. Please read label directions for use and storage closely, so that if
you really need something during an emergency, it will serve you well.
Keep at least half a tank of gas in your vehicles at all times, and
understand that the gas we buy today does not last as long as the gasoline in
the past. According to the local store that sells chain saws, an additive that
used to be put in gasoline is no longer used. Thus, if during an emergency
you need that chain saw, and it's been sitting there for more than two
months, you may not be able to use it. The same would be for the generator, and
other gas-powered items you might want to use. I am no expert on this, so ask
your dealer about it whenever you buy such equipment, or call them back if
you already have. You can buy the additive at certain locations, so
check around and see what is available.
With an adapter, you can make coffee and other warm foods
from your cigarette lighter in the car, provided you have enough fuel to run
the engine for a while. Adapters can be a little pricey, but it is sure nice on a
cool morning to have a cup of soup, coffee, tea or whatever you require in
that area to get the day started.
No, I am not looking around for indications that the sky is falling,
but it is a good idea to be somewhat prepared. In the event of a major
incident, it will be days before emergency crews are going to get to you, especially
in the outlying areas away from the cities. So be ready.
Thought for the week: Does work get you down at times? Daily
commute a real pain? Projects at home way behind schedule? Be happy. You
have a job, a car and a home to welcome you at the end of the day.
Preston News Notes author,
Bill Hebert, can be reached at
P.O. Box 918, Preston, WA 98050.