Saturday, December 4, 2021

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Vehicle Preparedness Checklist: Winter Storm Season

Greetings everyone and thanks again for your support of our local paper. I hope all of you are well. Some areas of South Dakota received their first snow of the season this past week. This is a good time to remind everyone to gear up for safety for the long winter ahead.

I also want to extend a hello to the good people at the co-op shop of Eagle Butte who always have a fair price. Thank you for all your hard work this past year. It was much appreciated.

Vehicle checklist:

1. Check all tires including spare to ensure all are in good shape.

2. Get brakes checked.

3. Change summer fluids out for winter fluids.

4. Install new wipers.

5. Buy a supply of fuel treatments you will need in case supplies fall behind.

6. Make appointments to get winter tires on and summer tires off and stored.

7. Make sure your car jack works and has all the needed pieces.

Vehicle emergency preparedness kit:

Personal needs (per person, in a perfect world)

1. Blanket, or one queen size to share

2. Change of warm clothes and extra gloves

3. Toilet paper

4. Yaktrax ™ or other strap-on ice cleats

5. Snow boots, if not wearing them already

6. Quick energy food that doesn’t require a can opener

7. Water

8. Sunglasses for after the storm if still stranded

Survival gear

1. Metal shovel stored in trunk or third row in SUV

2. Tube of sand or bag of kitty litter

3. Traction device(s) that works for you: chains, cable chains, new quick attach grabbers that strap on easy, traction pad. We are not all the same in skill or strength but luckily there are options for everyone today.

4. Yaktrax ™ or other strap-on ice cleats for boots

5. Jumper cables

6. Large can of deicer for frozen locks and levers

7. First aid kit

8. Flash light (Cell phone does not count!)

9. Lighter, matches, flint and steel

10. Red cloth for making a rescue flag. (It may sound ridiculous, but get one MUCH bigger than you think you need.)

11. Candles and metal container for burning candles or melting snow for water.

12. Basic tool kit

• rubber mallet and a wood block

• hammer

• vice-grips

• pliers

• knife

• adjustable wrench

• small channel locks

• cheap set of emergency replacement wipers

If you become stranded and cannot dig out and get moving again:

1. Call immediately for help since help may take time to reach you.

2. Put out your red emergency flag

3. Run car 15 minutes per hour with the down-wind window barely cracked to ensure your air is safe.

4. Charge phones only when car is running and conserve all power.

5. Keep tailpipe clear and radiator clear of snow.

6. Keep moving in car to help keep warm.

7. If you can, sleep in shifts so someone is always on the lookout.

Last but not least, let people know when you are leaving and when to expect you at your destination. Tell them when to reach out if you are late and who to ask for help. Remember, safety is not about control. It’s about being respectful and helpful to each other. Keep to your plan and if it changes, tell the people who are expecting you.

This list is not intended to replace a safety class and is for informational purposes only. This writer makes guarantees of your safety or survival. Please become educated, be conservative with your safety, and make careful decisions about risk. 

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