2014 Winter Survival Guide

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Fairbanks, Alaska, winters are long, cold and dark. Readers give advice on how to survive, and thrive, in the winters, plus winter clothing tips and car care.

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  • 2014-2015

    FAIRBANKS, ALASKA

    READER ADVICE 2TAKING CARE OF CHIMNEYS 3WHAT TO HAVE IN A WINTER CAR KIT 4 CARING FOR PETS IN COLD WEATHER 5

    INSIDE:

  • 2 Sunday, October 5, 2014Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

    Cushman at Van Horn 452-7131 Limited to Stock on Hand

    18511948-10-5-14WS

    The Bilzzak DM-V1 stands out from other winter tires due to its versatility. The new Tube Multi-Cell and NanoPro-Tech rubber compound help improve snow, ice, wet and dry performance by making the tire more flexible to changes in conditions.

    With its new Multi-Cell compound and advanced 3-D Sipe technology, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 delivers improved snow and slush performance, and is a reliable ride in icy conditions. Its a tire that will help get you to your destination-regardless of the weather forecast.

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    A L AS K A F UN CENTER A L AS K A F UN CENTER A L AS K A F UN CENTER

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    WARN Provantage Side by Side Plow System In stock and ready to play. Your job just got easier.

    WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE

    Whats your best advice for avoiding winter mishaps?You know how were all supposed to learn from the mistakes of others? Well, perhaps our new Interior Alaska resi-dents can learn from the winter survival mistakes of those of us who have lived around here for a while.

    We went to our Facebook page to ask readers to fess up or offer advice.

    Read on and learn. And laugh a bit, too.Rod BoyceMANAGING EDITOR

    While you may be able to drive on the hard-pack rails all winter, the fuel truck cannot. Sometimes its not about whether or not you can get in and out of your driveway but whether someone else can.Kerynn Fisher

    When getting the ice off your window, do not hit it with the ice scraper. When your car warms and you close the door, your win-dow will shatter. Be patient with it.Ember Kalama

    Shovel your driveway. Just do it. You might think youre so clever driving on two feet of hard pack while your neighbors kill their backs shoveling, but in early April, when their driveway is bare and yours looks like soup, and your car practi-cally floats in and out of the garage, you will regret it.Amanda Myhand

    I let my laundry deter-gent freeze in my car my first winter here and had to run it under hot water at

    the laundromat.Liz Peterson

    Always check to make sure the house door is unlocked before you run out

    to start the car in the morn-ing. Or better yet, stash a spare key someplace. There is nothing like trying to break into your own home at -30 while wearing paja-

    mas and slippers.Corrie Kossow Garrison

    Pull your windshield wip-ers off the window before you park for the night. And dont forget the rear one if you have a hatchback.Maggie Billington

    Always carry a flare when going snowmachining. Its the best way to light a fire when its -20, you fell through a river, and you have to wait 18.5 hours for help while youre attempt-ing to walk 40 miles out.Christopher Morse

    Dont touch doorknobs with your bare hands in 60 below. It doesnt feel good.Chrissy Fanslau

    Make sure your hair and/

    or beard are completely dry before going outside. Noth-ing is more uncomfortable than suddenly having a block of ice on your face.D.J. Tyson

    Dont leave your diaper bag in your car at any point during the winter. Defrost-ing baby wipes on demand is almost impossible.Corinne Gould

    Always keep an extra blanket and boots in your vehicle. You never know when and where you may break down or get stuck in snow.Flores Carol

    Plug your vehicles in. Use good oil and battery

    TIPS 4

    The thermometer sign outside the AlaskaUSA Federal Credit Union Mortgage offices on the Old Steese Highway display the sub-zero temperature on Dec. 2, 2003. ERIC ENGMAN/NEWS-MINER

  • 3Sunday, October 5, 2014 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

    By Elena SudduthFOR THE NEWS-MINER

    A s t h e c o l d s e a s o n approaches, the necessi-ty to warm up the hous-es arrives. A lot of houses in the Fairbanks area use chimneys as the main heat resource. Every year, a lot of homeowners lose every-thing in house fires caused by improper chimney care. There are some guidelines that, if properly followed, can help avoiding these sit-uations.

    First and foremost, your chimney should be inspect-ed at least once per year and be swept by necessi-ty. This reduces the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisonings because of cre-osote buildup or obstruc-tions in the chimneys.

    N e x t , g o o d , d r y ,

    non-treated wood should be used. Burning wet wood causes the creosote to built up faster which becomes the main reason chimney fires.

    Last, but not least, it is important a wood stove is installed according to the manufacturers recommen-dation.

    Offered below is a list of questions chimney owners should know the answers to stepping into the winter:

    Q: How often should I get my chimney cleaned?

    A: From one load of wood to the next, the amount of creosote that builds up is never the same, said Chief Jack Willard from Chena Gold-stream Fire and Rescue. This is why homeowners should clean their chim-

    neys on regular bases, he added.

    The National Fire Pro-tection Association Stan-dard 211 says, Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, free-dom from deposits, and correct clearances. Clean-ing, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if nec-essary.

    So while it may not be necessary to pay for a cleaning every year, hav-ing you chimney inspected every year is a good idea. You should keep in mind that even if you dont use your chimney too much, small birds could have made nests or small ani-mals could have fallen into it.

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    HOME WEATHERIZATION

    The weatherization program provides weatherization work on houses, apartments,

    & mobile homes for qualified households.

    Renters and homeowners with low to moderate income may be eligible for thermal doors, windows, insulation, air-sealing, weather-stripping and heating system repair and replacement at absolutely no cost. Save money on your fuel and electric bills! The paperwork is extremely simple!

    Call Interior Weatherization, Inc .

    EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY

    Funded by Alaska Housing Finance Corp., US Dept. of Energy

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    A household is automatically eligible if any household resident documents receipt of SSI, Energy Assistance (LIHEAP), ATAP, TANF, Senior Care Benefits, APA/IA or Food Stamps. Homes weatherized before April 2008, are eligible to be re-weatherized.

    Annual Income Guidelines

    Size Household

    $54,200 61,900 69,600 77,300

    $64,000 73,100 82,200 91,300

    Denali Borough

    Nenana & Delta

    today for details! 452-5323 or Long Distance 1-800-478-5323, ext. 0 713 15th Avenue, Fairbanks

    Download application at: www.interiorwx.org

    Max. Income FNSB

    $51,700 59,100 66,500 73,800

    1 2 3 4

    WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE

    Proper chimney care saves houses

    CHIMNEY 6

  • 4 Sunday, October 5, 2014Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

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    heaters. Dont ruin a new vehicle because youre too lazy or cheap to get your rig winterized.Sarah Black

    Always have a chain and shovel so if you do get stuck in the snow like my husband last winter

    more than once, you can either get pulled out or dig your way out. And always have extra clothes, blanket, gloves, hats, hand and foot warmers those things are awe-some.Sarah E Genetti

    Dont leave a glass bot-tle of vinegar in the cup holder of your back seat. Airing out your car out in

    -40 isnt easy.Curea Salle

    Don t scrape your windshield with met-al (i.e. pop can). It will scratch the windshield. Sarah Solski Madsen

    Never use your debit/credit card to scrape your car window, no matter how desperate you are.Kristen Q Thomas

    TIPSContinued from 2 Cars need survival kits, too

    By Robin WoodRWOOD@NEWSMINER.COM

    During wicked winter weather, a simple trip to the store can bring compli-cations only Alaskans truly understand.

    When traveling outside of town or on side roads being prepared becomes even more imperative. Its essential to keep a winter survival kit in your car.

    Put emergency items in a tub and store it within the cars main compartment. If stuck in a snow bank, a trunk or truck canopy may be inaccessible. Its import-ant to keep the gas tank at least half full, both in case of emergency and to pre-vent water condensation being sucked through fuel lines.

    As with any emergency

    situation, its best to stay put. Cars are great sources of shelter and easier to spot than just a person. If stuck, only run the car for 10 min-utes per hour because snow can trap deadly carbon monoxide inside the car. Crack a window and keep snow clear of the exhaust pipe. Turn on emergency flashers and conserve bat-tery power.

    The following should be included in any winter car kit:

    To stay warm and fed Keep outer gear suit-

    able for a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes exposure. Include extra socks, hats, gloves and base layers. Avoid cotton because when it provides zero insulation when wet.

    Have the ability to make

    a fire with multiple means: wind- and water-proof matches, a lighter or flint and steel. Stuff an empty toilet paper tube with toi-let paper for an emergency fire starter.

    Enough blankets or sleeping bags to provide for the car occupants for extended periods of time.

    High energy, non-perishable food such as can-dy, energy bars or trail mix.

    Water and the ability to melt snow, like an empty coffee can and a small stove with fuel.

    To stay safe A first aid kit, extra

    medications and pocket knife.

    Flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries.

    CAR KIT 7

    WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE

  • 5Sunday, October 5, 2014 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

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    By Robin WoodRWOOD@NEWSMINER.COM

    When it comes to cold weather care for pets, it pays to pay attention.

    People have many breeds and varieties of pets, all requiring tailored treat-ments. And when the tem-perature drops below zero, or perhaps reaches 50 below, appropriate care is critical.

    For outside animals dogs, horses or other live-stock shelter, non-frozen water and enough food for fuel are minimum require-ments. The most important thing for inside animals is not to forget when they are outside as frostbite or hypothermia can result from mere minutes in sub-freezing temperatures.

    Outside animal houses should be small enough

    that their body heat warms the space, but big enough to lie down in. Line the floor with straw for insula-tion and insure the shelter provides protection from wind, rain or snow.

    Sandy Klimaschesky, shelter operations supervi-

    sor at Fairbanks North Star Borough Animal Control, said hay or blankets alone are not adequate bedding for doghouses.

    Hay tends to compress really easy, where straw is hollow and lofty so it holds that heat in, she said.

    Assistant tate Veterinar-ian Dr. Jay Fuller recom-mends placing dog houses against the wall of a house to absorb ambient heat.

    Simply eating snow will not provide pets with ade-quate hydration because takes significant energy to

    melt snow to a liquid. One technique to keep outside animals hydrated is com-bine food and water in the same bowl.

    Fur coats, stores of body fat, activity level and gen-eral health all affect an ani-mals ability to reside out-

    side. Ears are usually the first appendages to show symptoms of frost bite. Paws, noses and tails also show signs quickly. During warm temperatures cats and dogs may find puddles

    All pets, inside and out, need special care in cold winter months

    Left: Emmie, a 2-year-old lab/husky mix, gets a grip on a frisbee as she plays with her owner outside the Arctic Health Research Building on March 5, 2008. Right: Simba, a 4-year-old Cardigan Welsh corgi who stands less than a foot tall at the shoulder, bounds through the fresh snow while taking a walk with his owner John Waiste, of Fairbanks, along the West Tanana Farm Road on Feb. 12, 2001. ERIC ENGMAN/NEWS-MINER

    PET CARE 7

    READER PET ADVICE:

    If you have livestock or keep straw/hay to use as feed/bedding, do your best to make sure its inacces-sible by moose, and look for them! I almost walked right into the backside of one once because it had its head craned through our hay shed panels trying to get at our hay.Elli Kaliko Oba

    WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE

  • 6 Sunday, October 5, 2014Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

    From warm homes to warm smiles,

    Crowley delivers. When its cold outside,

    well make sure you have the fuel you

    need, when you need it. Home heating

    fuel, propane and our auto- ll program

    that can save you both time and money.

    And well deliver it all to Fairbanks and

    surrounding communities with the warm,

    friendly service were known for. This

    winter, count on Crowley to keep you

    warm. Give us a call today.

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    Q: Who should I hire to sweep my chimney?

    A: The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that people consider a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. According to CSIA website, there is only one person who is certified by them in Fairbanks. His name is Clinton Severns and he works for The Woodway.

    In the North Pole, Cary Freeman, with the Fire-safe Chimney service is also CSIA certified. These chim-ney sweeps have earned the industrys most respected credential by passing an intensive examination based on fire codes, clearances and standards for the con-struction and maintenance of chimney and venting sys-tems, CSIA web site explains.

    Q: When should I clean

    my chimney?A: Severns recommends

    that the homeowners get their chimney cleaned during the offseason, that is, for the company he works for from April 1 to July 31. Dont wait until you have to start reusing your chimney, since that time of year the sweepers are booked out and definitely dont start using it before it has been inspected.

    Q: What is the creo-sote?

    A: The creosote is a nat-ural byproduct of wood burning. It condenses on the surfaces of stove pipes or chimney flues. When it condenses, it tends to trap carbon from smoke, which makes it highly flammable.

    Q: What type of wood should I burn?

    A: Clinton Severns rec-ommends that people burn dry wood, with less than 20 percent moisture content.

    The wood you use should be cut at least 6 months prior to using it and it should be properly stored. That means that it should not be exposed to rain or snow, since it would reab-sorb the moisture and have open sides, so the air could circulate and allow drying.

    Q: What else should I know?

    A: According to the Che-na Goldstream Fire and Rescue, the time of year that most chimney fires are registered is after the warm up around Christmas and New Year when people shut their stoves down because they don t need them. When it gets cold again thats when the creosote builds up faster and thats causing the most fires.Elena Sudduth is a journalism student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and an intern at the News-Miner. Contact the newsroom at 459-7572.

    CHIMNEYContinued from 3

    WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE

  • 7Sunday, October 5, 2014 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

    Cushman at Van Horn 452-7131 Limited to Stock on Hand

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    or unfrozen water, get wet and become more suscepti-ble to hypothermia.

    Indoor animals, especial-ly those new to Alaska and unacclimated to cold tem-peratures, are more suscep-tible to hypothermia.

    Donna Buck-Davis, direc-tor of the nonprofit Loving

    Companions Animals Res-cue, said if the animal isnt outside on a 24-hour basis it shouldnt be left out when its cold. You wouldnt put your kid outside in the cold, so I wouldnt put my animal outside either, Buck-Davis said.

    Owners can set up an emergency shelter where small pets may take ref-uge if they get left out an extended period of time.

    O t h e r l e s s - c o m m o n issues are still problematic during cold weather.

    Both domesticated and feral animals have been known to climb inside vehicle-engine compart-ments for warmth only to be killed or injured when the car is started. Keep tabs on small pets or bang on the hood to scare would-be homesteaders.

    Antifreeze has a sweet

    taste that animals may like, but the liquid is poisonous and can be deadly. Quickly clean spills and keep con-tainers in secure areas. The Propylene glycol formula is less poisonous than ethanol glycol.

    Not all cold-weather care is agreed upon. For example, some people think horse blankets help provide insulation, while others believe they mat

    the horses hair, decreasing insulation. It always helps to consult with people who have extensive cold-weath-er animal care.

    Klimaschesky said the shelter has cold-weather care brochures at the shel-ter, covering house pets to livestock. Contact staff writer Robin Wood at 459-7510. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcity.

    PET CAREContinued from 5

    Emergency radio and extra batteries

    Emergenc y f lares , reflectors and distress flags.

    A 12-volt cell phone charger.

    A whistle.

    To stay on the road Ice scraper and snow

    brush. Small shovel. Tow ropes or chains. Road salt, sand or cat

    litter for traction. Jumper cables. Fuel line deicer. Dont forget to periodi-

    cally inspect fluids, tires, lights and battery.Contact staff writer Robin Wood at 459-7510. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcity.

    CAR KITContinued from 4

    WHAT NOT TO KEEP IN THE CAR:

    Dont forget yourb e e r i n y o u r c a r b e c a u s e w h e n i t explodes everywhere and you get pulled over, the cops will surely be pulling you out of the car for sobri-ety checks because of the overwhelming smell.Katrina Johnson

    Dont forget your purple energy drink in the glove compart-ment with important documents you need the next day. The offic-es wont be happy with your purple, sticky papers caused by the exploded can!Daphne Pettie

    WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE

  • 8 Sunday, October 5, 2014Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

    Paid Advertising Content

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