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Winter weather nothing to mess around with

January 9, 2015
Estherville News

Usually it's a little earlier in the year when we have to remind people about traveling in winter weather. With the winter mild up until a few days ago, that wasn't necessary.

Now it is.

First of all, travel only if you have to. Call ahead, listen to the radio or go online to make sure that work, school or that meeting is really being held. If it is, then set out well in advance. If there's blowing or drifting snow or ice-covered roads, it's definitely going to take longer to get there.

Now is as good a time as any to invest in a good window scraper. There are few things more depressing than watching a grown adult using a credit card to scrape a windshield. Believe it - a window scraper works much better.

And how are those tires. If you can stick a penny into the tread and it doesn't reach at least to the top of Lincoln's head, that means they need to be replaced. Lincoln's head, there's no tread. That's all you need to remember. Tires without adequate tread mean you're skating, not steering, on winter roads.

And heaven forbid if you should go into the ditch or have to shovel yourself out of a drift. If you do, then make sure you have a shovel. Right after shoveling off your sidewalk or driveway, just throw that shovel into your trunk. It could come in real handy later.

Is your gas tank full? If it is, you'll help prevent fuel line freeze up and you won't run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. And if you do get caught in a storm, you'll have gas to run the heater and stay warm.

We should always check the weather before traveling, of course. But if travel is absolutely necessary, then it's important to have warm clothes including hat, mittens, gloves, scarves and maybe a snowmobile suit. A good travel winter survival kit should include a good flashlight or lantern, matches and survival candles available at your local hardware store, high-energy food like chocolate or granola bars and water. And make sure your cell phone is fully charged.

A little preparation now can help make life a lot less difficult if you have to travel - or perish the thought - get stranded in winter weather.

So, please. Be safe - and not sorry when traveling in winter weather.

 
 
 

 

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