Last week saw some of the worst weather conditions in recent history. Caught off guard by an increasingly aggressive storm, many people had a dangerous trip home from work or to the store for necessary supplies. Avoid this fearful trip in the future and be prepped for anything with a simple emergency kit and a few good practices.
Prepare Your Car for the Cold
- Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level
- Check tire tread or, if possible, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.
- Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
- Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
- Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded.
Make An Emergency Kit
- A Fleece Blanket. *Fleece retains heat, even when wet.
- First Aid Kit
- Plastic Bags *for sanitation, garbage, or just to have handy
- Hand Warmers *about three bucks for a pack of four
- Extra Hat/Gloves/Scarf
For Your Car
- A Small Shovel
- Sand or Cat Litter
- Booster Cables
- Tire Chains
Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advisories. If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your expected arrival and intended route.
Follow these safety rules if you become stranded in your car.
- Stay with your car unless safety is no more than 100 yards away, but continue to move arms and legs.
- Stay visible by putting bright cloth on the antenna, turning on the inside overhead light (when engine is running), and raising the hood when snow stops falling.
- Run the engine and heater only 10 minutes every hour.
- Keep a downwind window open.
- Make sure the tailpipe is not blocked.
Above all, be prepared to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.
We can’t stop winter, but we can stop it from inconveniencing our daily lives. Just a little bit of prep could save you a huge headache later. Be safe and be well!