How To Prepare For The Winter
So far, this winter has been pretty tame for much of the United States – and if you live on the east coast, it’s been downright warm and humid– but there’s no doubt that cold weather is on its way. There’s no doubt that the weather will start to heat up (or cool down, rather.) Don’t you think it’s time to get prepared? Stock up on thick winter wear like a cozy blanket or a big, top rated cooling towel.
Even if you’ve already been dealing with snow and ice, it’s never too late to make the season a little more manageable. Check out these handy little tips we’ve put together to make this winter just a little more festive.
Prepare Your Car
Is your car ready for winter travel? It’s not too late to winterize your car. Check out these car care tips to prepare you for winter driving:
- Check your tires and replace them with all-weather or snow tires, if necessary.
- Keep your gas tank full to prevent ice from getting in the tank and fuel lines. Gasoline in particular freezes far below water’s freezing point.
- Use a wintertime fluid in your windshield washer to avoid being blinded by ice forming on your windshield.
- Make an emergency kit to keep in your car. Include water, snacks, first-aid kit, blankets, flashlight, extra batteries, portable cell phone charger, and emergency flares.
The AAA offers the following driving tips:
- Avoid using cruise control in icy and cold conditions
- Steer in the direction of a skid, so when your wheels regain traction, you don’t have to overcorrect to stay in your lane
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly and with caution
- Increase following distance to 8 to 10 seconds
- If possible, don’t stop when going uphill, keep the momentum going to avoid slipping downward
If visibility is severely limited due to a whiteout, pull off the road to a safe place and do not drive until conditions improve. Avoid pulling off onto the shoulder unless it is an absolute emergency. Limited visibility means other vehicles can’t see yours on the shoulder. As usual, turn on your fog lights, high beams and your hazards for maximum visibility.
Winter-proof Your Home
Winterize your home to help protect yourself and your family from any potential damage the cold temperatures and snow may bring.
Follow these tips to keep your home safe and warm:
- Check your heating systems.
- Clean out chimneys and fireplaces for possible icing.
- Closely monitor any burning fires or candles.
- Check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Heating your home by using a fireplace might increase these levels to dangerous levels. Proper ventilation and fireplace usage can mitigate this.
- Remove ice and snow from walkways to prevent slips and falls.
- Keep an emergency kit in your home that includes flashlights, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, extra medicine, allergy medications, and baby items.
If you lose power, your kit should also include food and water for three days for each family member, warm clothing if you have to evacuate, and toys and games for children.