#SnowJam2014

Posted: February 4, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

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The past week was certainly a learning opportunity for those of us in the Atlanta area. Winter Storm Leon was unreal. I see many internet commenters asking how 2 inches of snow could possibly shut down a major city for so long and while I don’t have a good answer for that question, I would like to share some of the lessons we learned.

Prepare!!

So many were caught unprepared and suffered through the cold night. On the other hand, preppers were instantly vindicated in the eyes of their friends and family. Many a spouse began suddenly thanking their wife or husband for insisting on keeping supplies in the car for “just in case.” Blankets, coats, food and water made the night so much more bearable. Even with these common preparations, though, one oft-forgotten issue slowly came to the forefront. How’s a lady to go to the bathroom while gridlocked on the interstate or highway? Of all the problems that arose from the gridlock, the bathroom issue was the single most discussed problem I heard mentioned on the radio or on social media. The utter misery and humiliation this caused countless people convinced me to procure a means of addressing the situation. I will soon be adding a urinal to my emergency kit.

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Supplies people wish they had: blankets, warm clothes to walk in (snow boots, hat, mittens, coat, etc…), food (and not just a snack bar or two; some people were stuck for 22 hours or more), water, a way to modestly go to the bathroom without uncovering in the frigid cold, toilet paper, a battery charger for their cell phone, a list of phone numbers for when the cell phone died, flashlights, pillows, hand warmers, items for other occupants in the car (children or pets), a change of clothes, etc…

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The car itself needs preparation: a full gas tank, good tires, good wiper blades, an ice scraper, an empty gas can, de-icing washer fluid, sand or kitty litter, shovel, etc…

Plan ahead: Map out alternate routes (but keep in mind once the highways are gridlocked, the side streets shut down too), discuss options and plans with loved ones  ahead of time to best determine your course of action and once the situation arises keep loved ones informed of your progress.

Stay Home!!!

UnknownIf at all possible, stay home and off the roads. Georgia as a state has proven itself incapable of dealing with snow storms and Atlanta drivers met all the expectations their reputation demanded. Of course, when it’s a regular occurrence for a fender-bender on one side of the highway to cause traffic on the entire highway to back up, what else should we anticipate when an unusual weather event occurs. Learning how to drive in winter conditions would certainly help us next time (applying the brakes right as you hit that patch of ice is really not a good idea). For Atlanta drivers though, simply learning how to drive safely on a clear day would be a step in the right direction. The combination of crazy drivers, horrific rush hour and ice all combined to give us #SnowJam2014. The only part of that equation I can personally change is to not be one of the crazy drivers. Just stay home. I hope schools and inside-the-perimeter employers will be more lenient when the next storm comes around. Cutting down on the massive number of vehicles on the road would tremendously assist in reducing the gridlock.

Join Together

Rebecca-WattersPeople opened up their homes to strangers. Some packed up food and water and walked it out to the gridlocked interstates. Stores re-opened to give the stranded drivers a warm place to stay and a bathroom. Untold numbers of people reached out to help their “neighbor” in the greatest showing of Southern Hospitality I have ever seen. Reading the stories of compassion and kindness reveals the heart of God moving upon so many people to help their fellow man. It was truly touching to see.

Lessons To Be Learned

There are many other lessons to be learned from an event such as this, but these are the ones that I gleaned from the whole mess. I certainly hope the city and state have learned their own lessons from this snafu. More than the government learning its lessons, I truly hope the Atlanta populace has learned not to rely on government to do the right thing but will prepare themselves for such a weather event next time it comes through. Only time will tell, but I pray there will not be a repeat of this past week.

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Other Resources:

http://www.instructables.com/id/READY-2-GO-emergency-porta-potty/

https://www.sportys.com/PilotShop/product/15040 Electric 12v Blanket

https://www.sportys.com/PilotShop/product/13089 Travel John-absorbent pouch

https://www.sportys.com/PilotShop/product/13087 Little John urinal

https://www.sportys.com/PilotShop/product/13088 Lady J adapter for Little John urinal

http://blog.allstate.com/survive-a-night-in-your-car/

http://beprepared.com/insight/6790/how-to-build-an-emergency-car-kit/

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/products/the-ultimate-emergency-preparedness-kit-for-your-car-8#slide-1

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/01/30/simple-winter-car-survival-kit/

http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/24444321/be-prepared-have-a-winter-weather-emergency-car-kit

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/next-time-put-these-in-your-car/nc8x5/

http://www.prisonplanet.com/if-3-inches-of-snow-can-cause-this-much-chaos-in-atlanta-what-will-economic-collapse-look-like.html

http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/02/daisy-luther/a-harsh-lesson-in-winter-survival/

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Comments
  1. Tommy Harper says:

    Good job Ruth!!!

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