Winter Safety Tips
Now that winter is here, I would like to share some
very important information with you.
home should have a disaster supplies kit:
The kit should include a battery-operated radio, flashlight,
matches, extra batteries and an extra set of house and car keys. Stock
ample wood for the fireplace and plenty of nonperishable foods that can be
eaten without heating. Keep bottled water and juices on hand in case your
power and water supplies are interrupted. Other items to include in the
kit are prescription medicines and nonperishable infant formula,
especially if there is a chance that roads will be impassable.
Remove dead tree branches. Ice and snow, combined with winter winds, can
cause limbs to snap.
Clean gutters - Snow and ice can build up quickly, especially if your
gutters are clogged with debris. When thawing begins, water from melting
ice has nowhere to drain and can back up under your roof and eaves,
causing water damage to walls and ceilings. Consider buying screens to
keep your gutters debris-free.
your homeowners insurance policy to make sure coverage is adequate for the
type of winter weather in your area. Learn what is excluded from the
sure auxiliary heaters and fireplaces are adequately maintained and
serviced. Many fires related to auxiliary heating sources are preventable
through simple maintenance. Before installing a wood-burning stove, check
with local fire officials as to codes and proper installation techniques.
Do not store kerosene in a non-approved container or in your home.
a winter emergency kit for yourself and keep it in the trunk with:
A metal coffee can to store small items and for melting snow
to drink, sand or non-clumping cat litter for tire traction if your vehicle
gets stuck in ice or snow, a charger or an extra battery for a cell phone.
If a cell phone isn’t available, have change for use in pay phones,
brightly colored cloth to use as a signal for help, and blankets
Winterize your car. Get a tune-up to save wear and tear on the battery.
Consider snow tires or chains as your travel dictates. Other car care tips
include: Check radiator coolant and sturdiness of hoses and belts. Refer
to the car manual to see if a lighter grade oil is recommended for winter
driving. Change burned out headlights, tail lights and turn signals. Check
that tire tread is 1/16 inch for adequate traction. Make sure brakes are
in proper working order.
spare window washer fluid in the trunk and make sure the wiper blades are
in good working order.
you’re on the road in winter, pay attention to weather reports. Allow
time in your schedule for bad weather and/or traffic delays.
Become familiar with your vehicle’s winter weather operating
characteristics. Front-wheel-drive vehicles generally handle better than
rear-wheel vehicles on slippery roads because the weight of the engine is
on the drive wheels, improving traction.
Keep your windows clear, inside and out, and remember to clean head, tail
and brake lights.
decrease tire pressure in an effort to gain traction. All you’ll do is
wear out your tires.
you need to turn on your wipers, you need to turn on your headlights. Low
beams are better in wet weather.
Bridges get slick and icy before roads. Bridge temperatures can be 5-6
degrees colder than roadways, so drive with extreme caution when
temperatures get around freezing.
Keep your gas tank at least half full. Fill the tank before you park for
lengthy periods. This will help prevent fuel line freeze-up and be a
lifesaver if you become stranded and must rely on your car for shelter.
Leave ample stopping time between you and the driver in front of you.
Braking distance can be up to nine times greater on snowy, icy surfaces
than on dry roads.
If your vehicle is equipped with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS),
be sure to:
- firmly depress the brake pedal. STAY on the brakes - do not pump the
where you want the vehicle to go. It is normal to hear noise and feel the
brake pedal vibrate while you are applying continuous pressure to the
Tips if You Are Stranded
best advice is to remain with your car. If nothing else, you are
guaranteed shelter, something you will not have if you leave the car.
Other helpful tips include:
Tie a brightly colored cloth to your antenna, driver-side door handle or
a charged cell phone to call for help in case you become
the exhaust pipe clear of snow. Poisonous gases filter into your car if
the pipe is clogged.
your engine and heater no more than ten minutes every hour. Crack open a
down-wind window for ventilation when the engine is running.
Light a flare to let people know you’re in the car.
floor mats, seat covers and blankets for added warmth.
bottled water in the car or melt snow in a coffee can for drinking water.
Eating snow will only lower your body temperature.
calm. Chances for rescue are better if you remain calm and in your car.