Category Archives: Emergency Preparedness

Know your tow rope etiquette (Part II)

I surely missed being around for this week’s snow. Our Overland Park auto service received record amounts of the white stuff but it appears most people took warnings seriously and stayed home. Here are a few funny stories from times when people did not stay home! One time I helped a couple stuck in a large Overland Park parking lot drift that kept getting deeper as they drove into it. (Let off the gas if your tires spin applies here– and don’t panic.) I was pulling him in reverse and soon as the van broke free he gunned it, heading right for my truck. I gunned it too, and swung my truck out of the way and he whizzed by in reverse. Luckily the tow rope fell loose and he was set free. I also ask, “Have you ever been pulled out of the snow before?” If they say, “Yes, every time it snows,” I may be dealing with a repeat offender and use more caution here. When people are a half a block from home they can get pretty frustrated and not listen. I helped one woman with ... read more

Know your tow rope etiquette (Part I)

Know your tow rope etiquette (Part I)

Growing up in western Kansas with parents who owned a farm implement dealership, I was given the job helping people get their stuck cars out of the snow. At the time it was just a chore assigned by my mother, but now I see how much fun it really was. Here in Overland Park, on rare occasion I get the opportunity to relive those times. Not for money, just for fun–and I really enjoy it. I have a four-wheel drive 1990 Ford F150 which I brought back from the dead years ago, after rebuilding the engine, transmission and both differentials, etc. It is our official New Concept Auto Service shop truck (complete with a little rust). After a big snowstorm, I like to help my neighbors out of the snow. Last Thursday, all the employees of our Overland Park auto service made it to work, but as the snow began to fiercely pile up, I sent everyone home. I hung around to monitor the phone. I did follow one of my ASE techs down 87th Street to make sure he got on I-35 toward Olathe. As he made in o ... read more

Snowdrift savvy

Snowdrift savvy

I consider myself a bit of an expert in dealing with snowdrifts. In western Kansas where I grew up, the wind always blows from the south-southwest. When you get three inches of snow, combined with the low humidity, you also get three-foot snow drifts. We are also likely to experience conditions like this in Overland Park in the next couple months. After helping countless stranded autos get out of the ditch, these are some great pointers I can swear by: Take a cell phone with you and keep an extra charger in the car. Keep an emergency kit with you, including a blanket, gloves and an extra coat. A small shovel and a bag of sand may also prove to be handy. A real treat would be a tow rope with metal hooks on each end. Don’t by a cheap one—you will get what you pay for. Keep your gas tank at least half full through the snow season. Consider joining a roadside service like AAA. If there is a big snowstorm, many people will also be calling them, so you may need to be ... read more

Prepare your car for emergencies

We have all been glued to the news of Hurricane Sandy this week, praying for family and friends on the East Coast. And even though here in the Midwest we don’t have hurricanes to deal with, it is a stark reminder that natural disasters strike in all regions and we are not immune. So what can you do to protect your family from potential harm from a tornado, blizzard or flood? In Overland Park, we know that it’s never too early for a winter car tune-up (Remember the October surprise of ’96?). And even though modern technology keeps monster storms from sneaking up on us, Mother Nature often likes to remind us who is in control (Remember the flash flood of ’98?). At New Concept we always recommend keeping your gas tank at least half full, which provides the double benefit of being good for your car and keeping you prepared. If you have been putting off having us explore that engine knock, buying new tires, or even getting your oil changed, remember that you won’t have time to g ... read more

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