That’s a good thing, because whoever said “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” didn’t have to drive a long way to reach their celebration destination.
But winter still commenced last Friday with the solstice. And the holidays prompt people to hit the road more than they might otherwise; while some will be entertaining friends and families in their homes.
That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as Monongalia County Health Department’s Threat Preparedness program are passing along these tips for safe winter travel, as well as how to get your home ready for the cold.
For your car:
- Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level; check tire tread or, if necessary, replace tires
- Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
- Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer fluid.
- Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include:
- cell phone, portable charger and extra batteries;
- food and water;
- booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter for traction;
- compass and maps;
- flashlight, battery-powered radio and extra batteries;
- first aid kit.
When you travel:
- Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advisories.
- If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and expected time of arrival.
- Make your car visible to rescuers. Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna, raise
your engine is running.
- Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area. Stay with your
- Keep your body warm. Wrap your entire body, including your head, in extra
- Stay awake and stay moving. You will be less vulnerable to cold-related health
- Run the motor and heater for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window
will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.
- Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
- Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged.
- When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.
Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:
- Battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather radio and lamps;
- extra batteries;
- first-aid kit and extra medicine;
- baby items; and
- cat litter or sand for icy walkways.
- Keep grills, camp stoves and generators out of the house, basement and garage.
- Locate generators at least 20 feet from the house.
- Leave your home immediately if the CO detector sounds and call 911.
The CDC offers more information on its website at this link.
Everybody wants to have fun during the holidays, and by implementing these tips, you are ensuring that everything will go more smoothly.