We here in the Phoenix City experience blessedly mild winters; after all, we so rarely have to extricate our cars from snowdrifts for the numbing commute down 400. However, there are some simple, easy things that everyone should do to prepare for the coming winter season. Contrary to what you’ve seen on TV, emergency preparedness doesn’t have to mean wearing camouflage and frequenting stores that will get you placed on a watch list.
- Check your smoke and/or carbon monoxide detector. Many of us commit the sin of disconnecting them while we’re overcooking holiday dishes.
- Buy a scented candle and actually use it. This way, when there is a power outage you will know where your candle is and have means to light it, instead of blindly rummaging though your kitchen cupboards and hitting yourself in the face.
- Put an old blanket and a flashlight in your car. A flat tire when it’s freezing outside can quickly snowball into a much larger problem. Additionally, many flashlights now have alternative power options like hand-cranks that offer the benefit of not needing fresh batteries, ideal for long-term car storage.
- Get a keychain flashlight. You may not have noticed, but it gets dark pretty quick these days. The author uses a LED keychain light roughly the size of a quarter and has seen a sharp decrease in the number of stubbed toes and sprained ankles; research is ongoing.
- Pick up a gallon of water at the grocery store. If a pipe freezes and bursts in your apartment complex you won’t be able cook those Ramen noodles with diet soda. If you do anyway, please never tell.