Winter Safety Tips
By Public Affairs
Monday, January 31, 2011; 2:04 pm
Winter Safety Starts with You
Remember, whenever possible, to…
Understand weather forecasts are often difficult to keep accurate. Snowfall and other winter weather events may be underestimated. Plan ahead for unexpected contingencies.
Stay indoors and off sidewalks and roadways, and work from home, if possible.
Follow media outlets for the latest, up-to-date information.
Know that snow can conceal downed power lines. Stay clear of any discovered and report the location to the appropriate utility.
WalkingBe mindful that walkways may be slippery, even those cleared of snow. Snow that melts during the day alongside cleared paths may “run-off” water that later re-freezes at night on a once safe surface.
Ice may lurk under snow. Walk carefully on all surfaces.
Dress warmly. Unplanned circumstances may unexpectedly lead to a longer time in the elements then anticipated.
If you must drive, leave early and allow plenty of time to reach your destination. Rushing + slippery roads = accident.
Drive slowly and allow plenty of time for stops by anticipating traffic light changes and maintaining proper following distances behind other vehicles. Once stopped at a light, and it changes to green, wait a few moments before proceeding in the event that crossing vehicles cannot stop quickly for their red-signal.
Remember that bridges and other elevated roadways, such as most of I-83, freeze before other surfaces, requiring even more driving diligence.
Do not pass salt/chemical spreaders or plows as they attempt to clear and treat roadways. Passing them may not only cause damage to your vehicle from thrown salt but also from sliding on untreated road surfaces.
Brake and turn very carefully, slowing to speeds appropriate for conditions.
Make sure your vehicle is in good working order, especially tires and wipers, and that you have plenty of windshield washer fluid in your reservoir.
Remember that winter storms are also often accompanied by power outages that may effect traffic signals. Use caution when approaching intersections.
Don’t forget to clear snow from your vehicle before departing, including the roof, so you can avoid blinding following vehicles with blowing snow.
Have flashlights, battery-powered portable radios and extra batteries.
Remember to remove any significant snow from your roof-top, particularly heavy, wet snow.
Make sure your home is properly insulated.
Prepare of “Go-Bag” which has duplicates of any necessary medications, warm clothing items, non-perishable food, flashlight and identification in the event you have to leave your home unexpectedly.
Maintain a decent shovel, designed for snow removal, readily accessible.
Stock salt or other chemicals to keep pathways clear after shoveling.
Power-outagesHave sufficient heating fuel, as regular sources may be cut-off.
Stock up on non-perishable food items and bottled water.
Refrain from continually opening the refrigerator. Food can stay cold within it, without power, for about 24 hours.
Get gas before any anticipated weather event, as power outages may temporarily close affected gas stations.
Review the process for manually opening any electric garage doors.
Remember your cordless phone won’t work without power. Keep a corded phone handy.
Updated: 01/31/11; 2:19 pm