Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Prudent Prepping: Rain?

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Now we concentrate  on what to do in, and how to plan for, the long term via Prudent Prepping.

What is this "rain" of which you speak?

If you ask the average Californian about rain, the answer is usually going to be "Not Enough!" (or possibly "Too Much!" from the uninformed), but it really has been rare here lately. Low rainfall totals and very mild winters can be a bad combination when the sky clouds up and the rain finally gets going.

For example, this past week I spent parts of two days getting a friend out of the hospital and his car out of a ditch. He wasn't hurt and his car was not badly damaged (he didn't cause the accident, either), but people here in California forget how to drive safely when the roads get wet or there is snow in the mountains.

Rain, California-style.
Unlike in the East or the Midwest, our roads do not get wet enough from rain to wash the oils and grease off. The first one or two rainy days floats everything up, and the accidents start blocking roads everywhere. We also have a law that when your wipers are on, you are required to turn on your headlights also.

This is all a long intro to:

Winter Prepping, California-Style 
(And no, it doesn't mean wearing socks with your sandals 
to keep your feet warm)

Lokidude covered much of this here, but I need to modify things to make them fit here at low altitudes.

Car Items
  • Window washer fluid. Even though it doesn't often freeze where I'm at, there are days where the dew point and temperature are low enough there is frost on the windshield. Your standard washer fluid may not wash off the frost, but rather add to it until the defroster gets hot enough to melt it from the inside. I use Rain-X Bug Remover all year long, with added low temperature fluid when I know it will be cold. As a bonus, the Rain-X makes the areas of your windshield that aren't cleaned by the wipers that much clearer by causing the water bead up and flow off faster. Check your washer nozzles for crust and blockages, also. 
  • Anti-fog treatment. There is nothing worse than getting into a cold car, exhaling and fogging up the windows. I use Rain-X Anti-Fog on all my windows after a thorough cleaning. 
  • Wiper Blades. Until it starts raining, most people don't think to check the condition of their wipers. Replace them twice a year, even if you don't use them. I change mine at Christmas and the 4th of July.
  • Headlights. If your plastic lenses are foggy, hazy or yellowed, look into treating them with a lens restorer. There are some very good restorers out there, alongside some average to poor brands. Any one of them will work to clean up your headlights; the more expensive brands will just last longer. 

Personal Items 
  • Rain Gear. I have added a compact poncho to my bag and removed the windbreaker that was there. I carry a Gore-Tex jacket with me during winter and put one extra pair of socks in the GHB. 
  • Food. One more can of tuna (4 total) and 6 black tea bags are added to the 6 instant coffee tubes already there, along with 12 more sugar packets. 
  • Extras and oddities. Two 1 qt. zip lock bags, two 1 gal. zip lock bags, 6 grocery store produce bags, two 13 gal. kitchen size trash bags, and one 32 gal trash bag. Changed out the 6 Clif bars for fresh ones. 

General Purchase
  • 30 count box of instant oatmeal, $8.46 from Sam's Club to be added to the other stored food. 

As always, if you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

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