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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hand Warmers and Other Necessities

It's that time of year when cold air invades the world (unless your current season is summer...). The temperature right now in Atlanta is 32 degrees. It's cold. It's miserable outside. I don't like it one bit.

This time of year, when the possibility of snow and ice is near, I take stock of the things I might need in my car in case of an unexpected emergency. Having two small children in the car with me most of the time means that I need to be extra prepared just in case we happen to get an ice storm that strands me and the kids on the road somewhere. It isn't likely, but it has happened here in the Atlanta area before. In an effort to ease my overactive imagination, I prepare for the possibility that I might end up stuck on the road somewhere with my girls and no way to go anywhere at all. Lucky for me, my car has a few hidden compartments for special storage. I use those areas to be sure we have whatever we might need if we were to be stranded out in the cold. Here's a list of what I keep in my car.

1) Hand Warmers - You know those inexpensive things you can buy in the camping area at Wal-Mart? Well, they are awesome for keeping you warm. They last for a full ten hours. Two hand warmers placed under a blanket would easily keep me and the girls toasty warm. I keep several of these in the car. They take up minimal space and provide such a huge benefit that I consider these to be the top of the list.(I've tested this theory at home when I couldn't manage to get warm. These things are amazing.)

2) Food - Kids get hungry. My kids are almost always hungry. I keep a supply of snacks and certain canned goods in those hidden compartments. I replace the food at least once a year to ensure freshness. My last selection of food was canned peaches, graham crackers, and Kool-Aid packets for our water. Now that the girls are much older, I will be putting other things in the car like canned tuna and saltine crackers along with some of those mayonnaise packets from McDonald's. It's important to be sure that any crackers that are put in the emergency food supply are well sealed. The peanut butter cracker packs are always good options. It's also important to use foods that will not melt or spoil easily. Keep in mind that you will probably not be able to cook anything if you are stranded, so foods that are good when eaten cold should be included. If you're stocking canned goods that do not have a flip top opener, be sure to include a manual can opener in your stash. I try to be mindful of what the girls like to eat. While I realize that kids will eat whatever is in front of them when they are really hungry, I also recognize that giving them foods they like in an emergency situation of this nature will make my life much easier. Keeping hard candy in the stash is also a good way to brighten the situation for the kids. Chocolate might be a good option, but there's that whole melting thing...

3) Blankets - I keep blankets in the car when it's really cold outside. I generally keep them in the floor right by the girls' car seats because they both complain about being cold when we go anywhere. When I set up my emergency stash, I will also place a blanket in the cargo hold area where the spare tire is.

4) Clothes - I keep a change of clothes in the car for everybody. There are two reasons for this. First, an extra layer of clothing would come in really handy if we have to walk in the cold. Second, a change of clothes is always welcome if we are stranded in the car for a length of time. I make sure that this set of clothing is extra warm.

5) A tarp with rope - This one may be a bit of a surprise, but I also keep a tarp and rope in the car. The reason for this is just in case we are in a snow storm. A tarp spread out over the exhaust pipe area would prevent the snow from going high enough to clog the exhaust and forcing you to turn the car off. Also, if you're stranded for a length of time, having a covered area for bathroom needs would be beneficial. (Remember that change of clothes... If you're having to get out of the car to tend to your bathroom needs, that change of clothes might be really handy if your clothes get wet from snow.) Another benefit from a big blue tarp is visibility. My van is white. It wouldn't be easily visible in a snow storm. A blue tarp, however, that is spread out to create a semi tent by the side of the car - now THAT would be visible.

6) Toys - Of all the items you keep in your stash for being prepared, you really need to keep some toys in the stash. Coloring books, colored pencils, small toys that are easily stashed - these are all good options. I don't recommend keeping crayons in the stash because they will melt in the summer. However, crayons would be a great addition as long as you remember to pull them out when the hot days return.

7) Flashlights and batteries - Keep a couple of flashlights and batteries in the car. This is pretty self explanatory as far as reasoning goes.

8) Keep a few extra toiletries in the car for the sake of comfort. Deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, a brush - these small things can help make the situation just a little bit better for everybody.

If you have any suggestions, add them below. :-)


Petula said...

You're super prepared! I usually have one or two blankets already. There's often random toys and a change of clothes for the youngest, but that's about as far as it goes. I've thought about the emergency preparedness, but since I moved here from Upstate NY I've never been in a situation where I needed it. Oh Lordy, should I now knock on wood?

jenie said...


i have something for you dear

web development company said...

Thanks a lot for the post.Have blankets,food and hand warmers ready..would like to consider keeping the others too.

Anonymous said...

Amazing as always