We still have a month left in autumn, but winter is already making its icy chill felt and there’s a chance for snow as soon as Tuesday. The National Weather Service is urging Iowans to be prepared for the season ahead.
Meteorologist Deb Blondin says take precautions now; don’t wait for the first snow storm. Blondin suggests stocking a car survival kit with blankets, a change of clothes, matches or a lighter, candles, a shovel, cat litter or sand, a tow rope, jumper cables, and one other thing a lot of people don’t think of: she says many folks have cell phones but they forget to bring along a charger or spare batteries.
While keeping matches or a lighter in a water-proof container is a good idea, Blondin says there is something else you’ll need to think about if you plan on lighting a candle for warmth if you’re stranded in your car. She says to open a window slightly so carbon monoxide doesn’t build up in the vehicle. People might not think about keeping food and water in their vehicle, but Blondin says it’s important, as many Iowa motorists learned last year during the ice storms and heavy snowfall.
She suggests high-calorie, non-perishable foods like candy bars or granola. Blondin says don’t stop your preparation plans with the vehicle — continue on into the house and stock up on non-perishable foods and bottled water. Also, while filling the kitchen cabinets, she says don’t forget the medicine cabinet.
Think about the medicine your babies or elderly folks or anyone else might need so you don’t have to run out to the pharmacy in the middle of a storm. Blondin says Iowans are likely to experience a fairly mild winter this year as a "La Nina" pattern sets up in the west, though that doesn’t mean people should let their guard down.