Snow is starting to fall and that means unpredictable winter weather is upon us. Taking simple steps now to plan ahead for winter weather emergencies can help thwart a disaster. Here are three posts that can get you started in your winter weather preparations in and around the home.
But what if that unpredictable winter weather decides to wreak havoc when you are on vacation?
Many of us travel to either play in the snow or to escape the snow during the winter months. Here are some tips for airline travel preparedness.
- Always carry 3 days worth of prescription and over the counter medications on you at all times. Airport delays happen frequently in the winter. Don’t check your medicine in your luggage. You may get stuck in an airport and you won’t have access to your checked bags.
- Always wear a solid pair of walking shoes on an airplane. I can’t tell you the number of times I cringe seeing people wear flip flops and slippers. Think about what you would do if you had to suddenly walk a long a distance with what you have on you. When you get on a plane always think through what you will do if you get stuck on the other end without your luggage.
- Keep a change of clothes in your carry-on and include things that can be easily layered. Always carry an easy to pack jacket with you with a hood. A small collapsible umbrella is a smart choice as well.
- Write down emergency phone numbers. If your cell goes dead, you drop it, it gets stolen, would you remember all the numbers you need?
- Carry cash. Don’t count on ATM’s and credit card machines working. If weather is that bad power can easily be lost, taking down ATM’s and pay machines.
- Wear multipurpose clothing when traveling. I am a big fan of the SCOTTEVEST line. Particularly this vest that I have. I can carry a lot of essentials on me safely and conveniently.
- Load your important documents to a secure folder of a cloud service. If you use iPhone you can use iCloud for free or anyone can use Google Drive for free. I personally like DropBox for this. Take a photo of your drivers license, passport, and insurance cards.
Traveling by car can present a different set of challenges in unpredictable winter weather. Here are some tips for car travel preparedness.
- It’s time to update your emergency road trip kit. In addition to everything I suggest in that post, lets add:
- Mylar heat blankets and hand warmers.
- Ice scraper (it is mentioned in that post but I want to make sure you have it).
- Snow shovel.
- Siphon pump and gas can.
- Kitty litter for giving your tires traction in the ice and snow.
- Protein bars, water and ready to eat meals.
- Light sticks
- Cell phone signal booster and extra battery chargers like a Mophie.
- Make sure someone knows where you are going, what time you expect to be there and what roads you are planning to travel.
- Stay up to date on road conditions. Many states have apps now for your phone that will keep you up to date.
- Set your phone settings to receive emergency alerts.
- Turn on your geo locate on your cell phone so that the signal could be used to find you if necessary. Having apps like Find My iPhone or Verizon’s Family Locator service are perfect for this.
- Make use of the many services offered for vehicles these days like GM’s OnStar features. There is an add-on mirror available now if you do not have a GM car. It does not have all the features of a built in unit but is better than not having the service. I use OnStar and always feel safe knowing someone is available at the touch of a button via a separate satellite phone that won’t go dead. They can geolocate my car and send help via GPS coordinates even if I am unresponsive after a collision. It’s like having a guardian angel in my car.
Something new I am trying out is the ISIS wallet for my cell phone. I have a pre-loaded American Express Serve card linked to it and I can pay for things anywhere you see those tap to pay machines at checkouts just by touching my cell phone to it. They seem to be everywhere. When I travel I plan to load the card with enough money to pay for one nights hotel room if I get caught without a wallet or debit card. It’s one more back up. Prepping is all about having a back up plan of your back up plan.
We all know that emergencies can be big or small but interrupt our lives non the less. Travel insurance is one way to protect your vacation investment from mother natures winter sense of humor. I am using Travel Guard for the first time this winter on a vacation I would hate to be stranded on, or worse yet, never make it to because of travel delays. It was 1/2 the price of the travel insurance the cruise line company was trying to sell me and offers better protection. I do feel a better sense of security using this. If you want to learn more about travel insurance you can join me at TravelingMom.com for a #WinterHappens Twitter Party next Monday night, November 25th, at 9 pm EST by using #TMOM & #WinterHappens. They are giving away some awesome Hunter Boots and a Hunter Umbrella which would make a great addition to your prepping gear. Make sure to RSVP on the post at TravelingMom to win.
*Proper disclosure: I have compensated relationships with TravelingMom.com, #VZWBuzz for Verizon Wireless and OnStar. I have long term relationships with each of these companies because I whole-heartedly believe in the companies and products. My mention of any of these relationships is purely out of benefit to the readers of this blog.