Surviving an Alaskan Winter
Well, it looks as though Old Man Winter has finally arrived in earnest. The temperatures are expected to dip to as low as -20; factoring in the wind chill and that number drops to -35. Brrr.
It happens every year and every year we’re not ready for it. As the leaves turn a golden yellow and the fireweed makes its last appearance for the season, we all know winter is just around the corner.
For those of us who have called Alaska home for a while we know that winter just isn’t the same as it used to be. I can recall, not that long ago, winter temperatures hitting -40 for weeks at a time. We’ve even seen the thermometer bottom out at -65. At that temperature the ice fog is so thick you would swear you’re in smack in the middle a of Piccadilly Square whiteout.
Most people are willing to stop and help a stranded motorist but don’t rely on it. When the temps hit -20 and colder it doesn’t take long for a situation to become critical. If you haven’t already, now is the time to get ready for driving in and surviving the wrath of ‘ol Man Winter. Here is a list of items you should keep in your car and items you shouldn’t be without from September through April.
• Command Start – The best $600 you will ever spend.
• Proper Snow Tires – Traction, especially stopping power, is important.
• Extension cord to plug your car in with - @ 0 and colder you car will thank you.
• Long sturdy snowbrush – Ice Scraper.
• First Aid Kit
• Jumper Cables
• Flashlight – Winter in Alaska is DARK. This will come in handy.
• Flares/Roadside Triangles –Making sure you can be seen goes a long way in preventing a breakdown from becoming multiple vehicle accident.
• Space Blanket – In case you’re stranded and it takes a while for someone to get to you.
• Charged Cell/Satellite Phone. – Keep your roadside assistance number handy.
• Good Heavy Coat/Parka, Gloves/Mittens, Warm hat & Winter Boots. – Extra gloves/socks.
• Candle to provide heat in the event you become stranded.
With a little preparation you’ll be prepared for whatever ‘ol Man Winter throws at you. Just think, on December 21st we start gaining daylight again and by February we'll see the light at the end of the tunnel. Spring will be just around the corner!
Next Stop: Fairbanks Health Care