Winter brings many great things to enjoy – thick sweaters, snowmen, hot chocolate, fireside conversations and holidays, but it’s not all fun and games since a drop in temperature also comes with a few hazards.
As many parts of the world get hit by extreme cold weather and even winter storms, safety is of the utmost importance – we have to make sure that we’re doing our part to keep ourselves warm, avoid damage to our homes and be responsible when we’re behind the wheel. Here are a few things to be aware of to avoid winter inconveniences and hazards.
Driving in Winter
Extreme winter conditions coincide with the holiday season, meaning a lot of people are going to be traveling to spend time with loved ones. The weather can be quite hazardous, and it’s very important to proactively prepare for that so that you can arrive at your destination safely. If you’re a driver, there are steps you can take to make sure your car is in the best condition for a winter trip and your driving practices are safety focused. According to a Chicago car accident lawyer from Briskman, Briskman and Greenberg, “cold weather requires a lot more caution even for the most seasoned driver. The more prepared you are for this as a driver, the safer you and your family are going to be.”
A few measures you can take include
- Maintaining your car – it’s important under normal circumstances, but critical if a winter storm is headed your way. Making sure your car’s servicing is up to date paying special attention to things like your brakes, heaters, tires and radiators. The last thing you want is to be caught on an icy road with a car in bad condition. Do a check of your car’s critical systems so they can be fixed ahead of time.
- Checking and planning for your routes ahead of time. It’s important that you’re aware of the weather and the road conditions of the path you’re going to take to your destination. Google Maps can help you do this so that you’re not caught in unexpected conditions.
- When you’re driving, make sure everyone’s strapped in, and as the driver make sure you limit distractions so that you can concentrate on the road.
Preparing Your Home
When extreme winter conditions hit, we want to be in the warmth, comfort and safety of our own homes. For those homes to provide that comfort and safety, we also have to prepare them for the change in the season. If we’re not proactive, the elements can actually cause long-term damage to our homes. Between the moisture of snow and extreme winds in a snowstorm, we have to make sure our homes’ built-in protections are in working order. That means, making sure every area that could let in moisture is sealed and caulked, and making sure the home is sufficiently insulated. If your property has a lot of trees, make sure that any loose, low branches are trimmed so they don’t get swept up by the wind. Homes can get battered by winter storms, but if you’ve taken proactive steps, all will be well.
In a winter storm, you might have to shelter in place so it’s important that you and your family have the supplies you need for that. If your area gets hit by extreme weather, you might experience power outages and that’s something you definitely need to be equipped to handle. Keep your home stocked with food that can keep you going for a few days. Canned goods are always the best option, and make sure you also have a manual can opener so you don’t end up unable to access that food. Have a fully-stocked First Aid kit on hand, have power banks fully charged up for your devices, and keep important documents in a safe and easy to access place. It’s important to mentally prepare your family as well so that people know the plan ahead of time. This reduces panic and puts everyone in a much better frame of mind.
When winter weather rolls around, we often have to brace ourselves for extreme conditions. Whether you’re planning to travel or you’re going to be indoors, the key to getting through it is to get prepared well before so you don’t end up scrambling to get your home, your car and especially your family ready. It’s really wise to just have everything you need handy because you’re going to be calmer going into a storm or a period of much lower temperatures. Winter can throw a lot at us, but we can act so we can enjoy what’s good about it and mitigate the downsides.