Am somewhat unsympathetic

A bunch of people got stranded in their cars, apparently some froze to death after being trapped for 2 days during the pre-Christmas winter storm.

I gotta say, that’s Darwin at work.

Firstly, there was no way that you could NOT know the conditions. “Forewarned is forearmed” , and there was plenty of warning…for DAYS before.

Secondly, while it might get cold in the car, if one is sheltered from the wind and has decent clothing, you won’t freeze to death even if the car isn’t running, even in -30 temperatures. It ain’t gonna be fun and it ain’t gonna be comfortable, but if the car is closed and the wind is kept out, and you have any decent clothing, you ain’t gonna freeze,…Plus, with a bit of management (and some intelligence), you can keep a car warm enough running it a few times an hour for days on a half tank of gas…And if you let your gas get lower than that while driving in storm conditions, then you are part of the problem…

Blaming the storm for these deaths is wrong. Blaming the folks travelling into the blizzard conditions with no preparations is more realistic.


When I ran the motel, I cannot count how many folks were rescued, having left Mississippi or such in a car that most of us wouldn’t feel safe to drive across town, carrying their family dressed in hoodies and maybe windbreakers to Wisconsin with a half tank of gas with bald tires and low oil….into blizzard conditions so they could see Aunt Josie or whatever….Sometimes you gotta be smart enough to stay home.


4 thoughts on “Am somewhat unsympathetic

  1. My boss at the trailer park where I worked a couple of years, as a maintenance man, was from Alaska. He drove a semitruck on a long ice route. They had canvas curtains that could close off the back of the tractor, and a coffee can with one candle that they would light, and it would keep them warm enough to keep them from freezing to death, even in the worst weather.
    By the way, he said it was almost a hanging offense to pass by a tractor trailer rig sitting by the side of the road. It could really be a life or death situation in some cases, to be stranded for too long.
    He worked on the area of the Alaska Pipeline, and the rules were crazy. They had to put pads and catch basins every time they stopped their vehicles. A drop of oil on the ground in ANWAR called for a formal investigation. And that was not just a routine thing, but a full fledged, congressional overseen thing.
    He said that the area was nothing but acres and acres of barren tundra, but that doesn’t mean anything to the government.

  2. drop of oil on the ground in ANWAR called for a formal investigation

    I don’t understand why they didn’t require a vacuum to grab the rubber dust coming off the tires.
    It’s not like they care about the environment. They just use that as a pretext for insane regulation

  3. There’s already a lot of “standard trip and road prep stuff” in the truck, but…..

    October 1 the “winter box” – a Plano 56 quart plastic bin – goes in the truck with cold / bad weather gear and extra candles for the “always there” candle lantern, another 2-liter nalgene water bottle, etc. until May 1.

    During the winter the “road box” – a 78 quart Plano bin – goes in for trips – extra tow strap, compact butane stove, 6-8 Mtn Hse packets, 2 more 2-liter nalgene water bottles, pair of tire chains, misc “supplies for unfortunate circumstances,” etc.

    Never had to use any of it, hope I never do, but never go far without it. I’m always surprised, but shouldn’t be, by the number of people who just turn the key and go without any thought to weather related (or other) potential consequences.

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