Helpful advice

…if somebody has a time machine…

With the beginning of a possible record-setting blizzard in this area, my township has sent out e-mails advising people to stay off the roads for the next 24 hours or so, unless there is a genuine emergency. Among the recommendations for those who do have to drive is this gem:

“Keep your gas tank full, and get your car serviced prior to the onset of winter”.

I’m sure that the second part of that sentence is very helpful at this point to maintenance-averse people.


Well the car would be in the shop for maintenance now and off the roads I guess.

Yes, service it by calling AAA when you are stuck in the blizzard.

In '78 we had no public early warning systems and weather prediction was relatively crude. During the “Great Blizzard of '78”, and it truly was a mind-boggling blizzard, many died.

Thankfully, today we have numerous dedicated satellites constantly circling the earth in geosynchronous orbits, enormous highly sophisticated computer programs to crunch all the data, far greater ability to warn people everywhere of impending serious storms days ahead, and the ability to save countless lives. The Blizzard of 2015 has broken numerous records, but thankfully one of them was not lives lost.

Sever weather prediction is good enough now that airlines base emergency schedules on them.

It could be worse. We could be following the rope… hand over hand… that was strung between the house and barn so we could find our way out to milk ol Betsy.

Lucky for mankind we have all the technology to warn us of these events.
We no longer need a special pantry dedicated to survival food for these events. I remember as a kid …my mom keeping one stocked with at least 10 days of food.

I remember my mom (84 now) telling me how there was so much snow once that her dad took her to the road on a horse sled with the milk cans, and the snow was up to the horses belly. Once at the road, the milk truck took her and two other kids the rest of the 3 mile route to the school.


@TSM – The 1978 blizzard is the most snow I have ever shoveled! Lived seven miles inland from the north NJ shore at the time. Snow was drifted 16 - 20 ft high on the south side of many buildings such that people couldn’t get out any doors or even windows on that side of houses. We had huge 6 - 8 ft long icicles hanging from second story eaves. Only vehicles that could drive for several days were those with chains and even those were getting stuck.

I remember a bad ice storm about that same year and everyone came to mom and dads to stay until we got power back on. They had at least a big fire place. Between the fire place keeping us warm and the coleman camp stove we at least had warm food.

The ice was so thick that you could walk over the drifts out to the road and you were actually walking over the 4 foot high barbed wire fences. The little bucket on the tractor did little damage to the thick ice and deep snow. The little town road we were on was plowed on the 4th day and a local contractor sent a Michigan front end loader to dig us out. He was going from long driveway to long driveway and never sent a bill to anyone.


I’ve posted a link to photos of the great blizzard of '78 for those that weren’t around at the time. It truly was one for the ages. I stayed home from work that day. {:slight_smile:

Looks familiar! Snow was up to the top of most cars or even many feet higher than car tops in all our townhouse complex. We were right below a steep bluff and it made the snow drift extra deep there. First I shoveled pathways from front and back doors for us and four elderly neighbors then started digging out cars. Every time I had everything reasonably dug out another follow up snowstorm would dump more snow. Memory blurs into marathon shoveling for days on end and chains on tires for quite a few days. Chains are soooooooooooo noisy and rough to drive on!

One co-worker couldn’t get home for 5 days. His family survived by walking to a neighboring farm that still had a hand-fed coal furnace. When he finally made it home, his 300 gallon aquarium had burst…what a mess.

For the record, those photos of lines of cars buried in snow were taken on highways. It took days for authorities to dig out those cars. I seem to recall some roads being closed for close to a week. Some people died in those cars.

Between the 1978 blizzard in the northeast and the Big Snow of 1982 in St. Louis, I learned to always have a blanket and water with me in the car in case anything – weather, traffic, car trouble – has me stranded.

I was a kid when the blizzard of '78 struck. I remember my dad using our Toro “SnowPup” to clear paths to the street. That little thing was completely overwhelmed. I still have that thing though and it still runs. Tough little snow thrower. I have a Polaroid picture (I guess he took it) of me standing next to my dad’s car and all you can see is a small patch of the roof. The snow was much higher than I was. School was cancelled for about a week, which of course was happiness for every kid in the neighborhood, and probably anathema to most parents.

We lived in a small, but relatively new home, and I don’t recall us ever losing power or having any major hardship from the blizzard, though at my age, it was just exciting and certainly the adults’ perceptions of it was much different :wink:

When driving in winter and roads are slippery, a good method is when you start to slide, simply shift to neutral. This takes power off the drive wheels and you get braking and steering control.

@Boogler: There’s a couple of reasons I wouldn’t recommend doing that:

-If you abruptly shift to neutral, the wheels will suddenly not have power, which may unbalance the vehicle further.

-The driver likely has enough to contend with in the skid without trying to remain calm enough to select neutral. (and not park, reverse, etc.)

-If the situation changes and you suddenly need power to avoid a crash, you are now in neutral.

I would just ease your foot off the gas if you begin to slide.

photo 10959806_10155141433555223_17280692.jpg

If the situation changes and you suddenly need power to avoid a crash, you are now in neutral.

I simply don’t visualize sliding so badly you need to put it in neutral, then suddenly have a situation where you have to floor it or crash. And, i drove probably hundreds of thousands of miles in snow country.

In fact, I found neutral to be needed a lot when it was slippery.