Prepare Yourself for Winter
Here’s how you can prepare to make the winter season a little more bearable.
- Minimize travel if possible. In dangerous conditions, it is better (and safer) to stay home when you can and only go out in emergencies. Do you really need to return your cousin’s baking dish today? Probably not. When you do go out, keep an emergency kit with you.
- Check your cars fluid levels and make sure everything is working properly. You’ll wish you did if you ever end up stranded and your car won’t start! That’s no fun at all, it’s stressful, costly, and dangerous. Prevent it so it doesn’t happen.
- Keep an ice scraper/snow brush in your car. Remove snow and ice from your car before driving. It is dangerous to drive with obstructed views, and it is dangerous for other drivers if your car has snow blowing off it onto the road.
- Keep sand or kitty litter in your car. If you get stuck in the snow, pouring the sand or litter around your tires creates traction and will make it easier to free your car.
- Shovel your driveway and stairs whenever possible. If the snow starts to melt, and then refreezes, you could find yourself with a thick sheet of ice covering your driveway. That’s no fun unless you like to ice skate!
- Keep rock salt ready to sprinkle on hard surfaces and battle the ice and settling snow. Pour some down when snow is expected to keep your walking paths safe.
- This might seem obvious, but if you’re lucky enough to have a garage, use it! Spend a day to clean out your garage
- Give your home some extra insulation. Install storm windows or cover them in plastic shrink wrap to keep the cool air out and the warm air in.
- As with preparing for all emergencies, make an emergency kit. Batteries, flashlight, battery operated radio, non-perishables and water are all important items to have on hand in case of a power outage or snow-in.
- In addition to your emergency kit, always keep those “staple items” on hand. Think to yourself… “If a blizzard hits right now, do I have the food that I need?” This will also help you avoid the crowds of people who rush to the grocery store to get bread and milk just before the storm hits.
- Always follow the directions and precautions when using heating items, such as space heaters, heated blankets, or fireplaces. Carelessness can cause sparks and house fires. Keep a fire extinguisher handy just in case!
- Keep warm! Make sure you’ve got gloves, scarves, and a heavy coat. Stay protected from the harsh temperatures. It is also helpful to have boots or other shoes with good traction to help from slipping on icy grounds.
- Don’t stay outside in extreme conditions! Exposure to extreme cold and wind can cause potentially life-threatening conditions, such as hypothermia and frostbite. Stay indoors when the temperatures get too low.