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KNOWITALL's avatar

How do you prepare for intense winters?

Asked by KNOWITALL (15141 points ) January 7th, 2014

It’s bitterly cold in Missouri (worst since 1912), and everyone is complaining about batteries not working, sliding off the road (it’s like luge ice right now.)

How do you prepare for intense weather in your area?

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23 Answers

mowens's avatar

Well, I own a giant ass truck. That covers most of the wintery problems. Second, I have a lot of Navy gear, from the army navy surplus store… this stuff was designed to be worn on the Atlantic Ocean… so it is pretty sturdy. This also includes my dad’s Pea coat, which he wore in the Navy. I dont feel the wind at all through it. Long underwear also helps. My truck is stocked with matches, flashlights, and other impressive things. These are in case I get stranded for some reason, or need to help someone out. I also have light bulbs. Not sure why, but I do. I have an electric radiator for my house, and a cat to keep me warm.

bolwerk's avatar

It doesn’t impact me much. The heat is fine, public transit still works. If it’s colder, I maybe just need to bundle up more because I walk a lot. Glad I don’t live in some drafty rural cabin, I guess.

CWOTUS's avatar

Drain the garden hose.
Switch the lawn tractor and the snowblower relative positions in the garage.
Put the windshield scraper in the car.
Make sure my gloves, boots, winter caps and coats are ready for another season.

That’s pretty much it. I’m ready for winter before Thanksgiving, as a rule.

mowens's avatar

This reminds me, I need new boots.

Cupcake's avatar

Good tires on the car. Emergency kit in the car. Batteries, candles and matches accessible in the house. Keep the gas tank at least half full in the car. Check fluids in the car regularly. Cover windows on first floor with plastic on the outside. Put down any working storm windows. Store salt and shovels outside or easily accessible in the garage. Have all outdoor furniture/hoses stored in the garage/basement. Wash gloves/hats/scarves and store near the front door. Store boots near the front door. Replace water resistant rugs at doorways as needed. Shop for groceries often. Keep cell phones charged.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Ensure an adequate supply of chocolate chip cookies in the house.

YARNLADY's avatar

When I lived in Denver, my parents had storm windows and snow tires. We all bundled up whenever we had to go outside. I hate the snow and I hated wearing scarves the most. I liked parkas, but we often had to wear both. I also hated taking off and putting on every time we went in or out.

KNOWITALL's avatar

No one’s said check battery in vehicles, lots of people here are waking up to dead cars.

Cupcake's avatar

@KNOWITALL Upstate NY here… I’ve never had a problem with a dead car battery due to cold weather.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I put a trickle charger on the car battery if it is sitting for more than a couple of days.
My 4wd Tahoe is loaded with… well, pretty much everything!
I am the guy you see pulling others out of the ditch.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@LuckyGuy lol, those guys are in high demand right now here. Our city completely bailed on us for 24 hrs.

@cupcake That’s weird. I know ya’ll get colder than we do. Hubs says batteries are only good for up to 8 years he thought.

filmfann's avatar

My friend Trudi lives in Hawaii, and she mentioned the current cold snap has brought temperatures down to the 50’s. I post this in response.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@KNOWITALL Check your battery carefully. Most are 60 month batteries. A fresh one gives you better performance in the cold. They usually have a plate on top of the battery.
I load up with sunblock and swim trunks. When I got out of the car tonight, into zero degrees F with a balmy 20 mph breeze I immediately thought of the beach.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@KNOWITALL Towing is not my job, you understand. I happen to have 4WD, a hitch, and 40 ft of chain so I don’t mind pulling people out when they are stuck. I remember how it felt when I was off the road back in the stone age before phones. I feel sorry for them. They are just going to work and then Bamm! Bad Day! Usually it’s “I don’t know what happened. I was just driving along and the back end started to come around and… here I am.” Or, “A deer came out in front of me and I swerved.”
“Want me to pull you out? It will take me 5 minutes. If I can’t then you can call a tow truck.”
I can usually do it easily in 4Lo. Done.

glacial's avatar

All winters are intense here, compared to what you experience – so instead of considering them to be intense, we consider them to be normal. No, that doesn’t stop us from complaining!

For my apartment, I cover the windows in plastic wrap, and install weatherproofing around the edges of doors. I pull out my winter coats, hats and scarves. I use hot water bottles in bed, which is covered in several wool blankets. I tend to drink more tea than during the rest of the year. All of this is because I’m a poor grad student – most people just turn up the heat, which is assumed to be a necessary expense.

Car batteries are an issue for those with cars, so most people plug their cars in overnight. like this. A shovel and scraper live in the trunk, just in case.

You check the weather before going out, to find out what the windchill is. The first steps on the stairs or sidewalks are tentative, until you know how your shoes or boots will fare on the ice or snow that day. Your foot muscles get a workout in winter.

You stock up on a few canned goods or boxed foods, so that if you just can’t face venturing out in the cold, you’re still comfortable. You keep a flashlight and candles and matches where you can find them if the power goes out.

glacial's avatar

@LuckyGuy Could a solar charger for a car battery also be called a trickle charger? What are your thoughts on those?

Blondesjon's avatar

I prepare like I have lived in an area all my life where it is cold in the winter.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@glacial The laws of physics are hard to beat. A typical battery is 42 amp-hours. A 6 amp charger will charge afully dscharged battery in 7 hours. A typcal trickle charger is 1 amp or1.5 amp. A typical solar charger only puts out 5Watts in full sun. That is 0.4 amps;barely enough to offset the current drain from the car electronic control module. Buy a small charger that plugs into the wall socket. That will do something.

glacial's avatar

@LuckyGuy Thanks, this is something I’ve been wondering about for a while, but haven’t had time to research.

AshLeigh's avatar

You guys are cute :)
Park in the garage, if you have one. Plug your car in, if you don’t.
Buy a warm jacket and weather proof boots. Have emergency supplies (water, flashlights, candles, etc) in case of a power outage.
Studded or winter tires.
Thermal blanket in the car, just in case. Thermal socks. Thermal pants. Thermal shirt. Go thermal crazy.
My favorite thing in the winter: my heated blanket.
Get a shovel and one of those window scrapers to keep in your car.
Get a bunch of hot cocoa.

Buttonstc's avatar

I try to remember to spray my drivers door with windshield de-icer so it doesn’t freeze shut.

Pretty difficult to get into the car if that happens.

We had such a mild winter last year that I basically forgot to do it yet this year. As soon as things warm up a bit…

mrentropy's avatar

I take my coat out of the trunk. And then I don’t wear it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I prepare the same way I do for a power failure.
Move the generator to the garage.
Fill up my cars and gas cans.
Make sure the kerosene heater does not have any junk piled on it.

I always have enough fuel oil, wood, food, water, batteries, and duct tape on hand so I do not need to go out.

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