10 Tips for Winter Emergency Preparedness
It’s that time of year again, with the winter season upon us, it’s important to be prepared.
Given the chaotic mess of last year’s winter, necessary winter supplies such as salt quickly ran out. Take a look below of a video from last year:
Don’t be caught off-guard. Prepare now for winter with these 10 tips whether you are on the road, at work, or at home.
- Keep an extra clothes in your trunk
You never know when you’ll need a new shirt or jacket. Place a warm sweater and pants as well to keep you ready for anything. Keep an extra pair of winter boots so you can walk through slippery or wet conditions. Tuck wool socks, a toque, and winter gloves inside the boots to have ready-to-go winter clothing. Another good item to keep is a wool blanket in the trunk of your car.
- Check Tires and Tire Pressures
When road conditions get wet or slippery, it’s important to have enough traction to maintaining control. Having traction allows you to have proper handling, turning, and stopping on wet, slushy, or icy surfaces. When its winter, make sure to check your tires and tire pressure at least once a month. Remember, tire pressures will decrease about 1psi for every -12 C (10 F) the outside air temperature drops. Make sure to check your tire treads to have good traction on the road. While all-weather tires are usually adequate for most winter conditions, other areas may require vehicles to be equipped with chains or snow tires to drive on their roads.
- Top Up Your Gas Tank
When driving in bad weather, you want to make sure you have enough fuel to get to your destination. Make sure to plan ahead, check road conditions, and drive carefully. Keeping your gas tank at least half full will allow you to have enough fuel to reach a gas station.
- Improve Visibility
Heavy snow and ice can mean scraping ice off windshields and clearing snow from the roof of your car. However, it’s also an important task that allows you to see on potentially icy or wet roads. Make sure to clear all snow from the hood, roof, windows, and lights on the exterior of your car. On the inside, be sure to clear all windows of fog or ice. If visibility becomes to poor on the road, be sure to find a safe place to pull off as soon as possible. The 72HRS 3 in 1 Collapsible Snow Shovel converts into a snow brush, ice scraper and shovel.
- Slow DOWN
Winter can bring heavy snowfall and black ice. That’s why it’s important to drive defensively by driving slowly and leave plenty of distance between vehicles. This space provides you with extra room to maneuver, especially when a vehicle begins to slide. Remember, it takes more time and distance to stop your vehicle on wet/icy roads. Try to avoid tailgating and be sure to brake slowly to reduce your speed before entering a turn. Once you have rounded the corner you can accelerate again.
Another thing you may want to remember is to how to control skids. When skidding, you need to go against your natural instincts and turn into the skid and accelerate. Doing so transfers your vehicle’s weight from the front to the rear and often helps vehicles to regain control.
- Check Your Anti-Freeze & Windshield Fluids
Fill up on winter washer fluids and replace any wiper blades that streak. Ensure there is enough windshield washer fluid in your car’s reservoir and it is rated in the -40C range. Make sure to carry an extra jug in your trunk. Remember to also check your car’s antifreeze levels to ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
- Examine Your Vehicle
Make sure to examine your exhaust system for any leaks or crimped pipes. Be sure to replace or repair as necessary. For your car brakes, make sure to check for wear and fluid levels. Battery and ignition systems should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean. Be sure to check your heater and defroster to ensure they work properly. Remember to also check your oil for level and weight. Heavier oils will congeal more at lower temperatures and do not lubricate as well. Typically, a 5W-30 synthetic oil is what’s recommend for winter use, but be sure to check your car’s manual for what’s recommended.
- Keep an Emergency Vehicle Kit in your Trunk
Make sure you have on hand enough food, water, tools, and emergency supplies in case you are ever stranded or in an emergency on the road. Make sure to also pack enough blankets/sleeping bags, rain gear, extra clothing, and snacks with you on the road. It’s always a good idea to pack any personal items such as glasses, medications/prescriptions, and a cell-phone adapter in your car.
If you are looking for comprehensive automotive emergency kits, you can find them here:
- Know Before You Go
Keep yourself informed about the latest weather conditions and alerts/advisories in your area. Download helpful apps such as The Weather Network or Waze to help you plan your route. Before heading out, make sure to inform friends or family where you are going. Let them know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If you get stuck, you can always get someone to send help along your predetermined route.
- Keep Supplies on hand that Provide Traction
When faced with a dangerous combination of snow/ice on a hill, you want to be sure you can get back quickly on the road or return home. Just look at what happened last year
Keeping supplies such as salt, sand, or non-clumping cat litter can help you gain the traction you need to get back on the road. You can also use car traction mats as a way to help your car from snow, mud, puddles, or sand by providing you with a non-slip track for your car tire.