Safety is always an essential part of life, especially during the winter. Below are simple steps to ensuring your happiness this snow-filled season!
Prepare Your Home:
It’s a good idea to begin with taking care of the outside of your house, including cleaning the gutters and fixing the roof if necessary. Putting in weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows will also help. One of the most crucial components of a home in winter is the heating system(s). Have a professional inspection if necessary, to make sure it is functioning correctly.
Heat is one concern, but home fires are another. Winter is prime time for using space heaters and fireplaces, and both should be checked and cleaned if dirty. However, be prepared in case of a fire! Have a family escape plan, and conduct random fire drills. Always test the batteries of a smoke detector once a month, and change them every six months. It also wouldn’t hurt to have access to alternate sources of heat and fuel, learn about issues involving carbon monoxide, and if you can, install a carbon monoxide detector.
Prepare Your Car:
First of all, your vehicle needs to be inspected. Check the tread of your tires because if the tread is worn, your car has an increased risk of slipping and sliding on wet or icy roadways. It may even be beneficial to replace them with snow tires.
Keep the gas tank full to avoid getting ice in the tank and fuel lines. Each vehicle should contain a kit with emergency supplies, and these should include, but are not limited to:
-a cell phone with a portable charger
-food and water
-maps and compasses
-battery powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries
-booster cables and a tire pump
-first aid kit
Be aware of current and future weather forecasts, and try not to travel if a local or national weather service had advised not to. Tell your host your planned route and estimated time of arrival. If you get stranded in your vehicle, stay with your vehicle first and foremost. Good ways to remain visible is by putting bright cloth on the antenna, turning on the inside overhead light when the engine is running, and raising the hood when snow is not falling. Only run the engine and heater for ten minutes every hour. Keep a downwind window open and make sure the tailpipe is not blocked.
When Working Outdoors
Wear warm clothing to stay warm and healthy. Sprinkle salt, sand, or cat litter on icy areas to prevent falls, and make sure to work slowly when doing jobs outside. Cary a cell phone with you and make sure others are nearby.