Now is time to ‘winterize’

Published 8:54 am Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Kentucky hds its first bout of winter weather this weekend with a dusting of snow Saturday evening.

While this weekend’s weather didn’t offer much accumulation, the snow and subsequent ice left roadways slick causing several wrecks in the area and even closing some interstate routes in central Kentucky.

This quick bit of winter weather was just a taste of what we might expect as the winter goes on. Kentucky weather can be unpredictable — as we well know. The week could start sunny and unseasonably warm and end with knee-deep snow and frigid temps.

Email newsletter signup

With all that in mind, and considering Winchester is due for more snow this week, there are many ways we can prepare for winter weather.

This year, consider the importance of “winterizing” your home, vehicle and family.

Winterizing your car 

Check your car’s tire condition and pressure. Having proper thread and pressure can reduce risks when driving heavy snow, rain and ice. 

Check that lights are clean and working properly.  

Fill up the gas tank often, especially when traveling out of town or when snow is expected. The last thing you want is to run out of gas in bad weather. While you’re at it, check your oil levels. 

Make sure your windshield is clean and clear. Do not drive with snow or frost still on the windshield. Also clear mirrors and back windows. 

Never leave your car to warm up unattended. 

Put together a winter survival kit that includes a shovel, sand or cat litter for traction, tire chains, booster cables, extra warm clothing or boots, an ice scraper, winter sleeping bag or blankets, snack food, water, flashlight with good batteries, games and toys and other items you might find necessary if stranded.

While driving, leave more time to break and accelerate in wet or icy conditions to avoid sliding. 

Winterizing your home

Use salt or sand on walkways to melt snow and create traction and avoid slipping. 

Check windows, doors, vents and other areas of your home for leaks or drafts. Use weather striping to seal warm are in and cold air out. 

Clean gutters so water drains properly and will not freeze causing greater blockages. 

Prune trees around the house, especially those with low-hanging or damaged branches. Heavy snow and ice can cause limbs to break, which can land on homes, cars or even people outside. 

The Department of Homeland Security recommends keeping three day’s worth of nonperishable food in the home at all times. Keep bottled water, canned foods and other pantry staples.

Have flashlights and batteries on hand; candles are not a wise choice, because in bad weather you could cause a fire and no one can reach you.

Let faucets drip during serious cold snaps to reduce freezing. Wrap exposed piping with insulation. Call a plumber if pipes freeze and water stops flowing from faucets.

Winterizing the family 

Dress in temperature-appropriate clothing. Hats, gloves, scarves, coats and boots can keep the body warm and protect against frigid winds. 

Use lotion, lip treatments and other items to restore and protect the skin’s moisture. 

Use space heaters to produce more warmth in the home, but be careful of where heaters are placed. Keep them a safe distance from fabric, furniture and rugs. Never leave heaters running when the home is not occupied. 

These are just some of the many tips out there to prepare homes, vehicles and families for the potential hazards associated with winter weather. Consider these steps and others that might make an unfortunate winter event less stressful. 

As with all emergency and preparedness plans, it is important to communicate to family members and others living in the home the details of these plans.