Don’t be Left in the Cold, Prepare Now for Winter Weather
The holiday season is near, which means winter weather is not far behind. With the chance for parts of the state to see at least flurries this weekend, it’s time for Hoosiers to consider preparing for the upcoming winter.
“Year after year, Indiana deals with winter storms that can bring dangerous snow, ice and cold,” said John Erickson, director of public information for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. “Now is the time to make sure homes and vehicles are ready for winter. Taking action now can lessen and even prevent costly damage.”
Erickson recommends cleaning gutters now before snow and ice build-up. If gutters are clogged while ice and snow are thawing, water can back up under the roof and eaves, causing water damage inside the house. Consider buying screens to keep gutters debris-free.
Hoosiers should also consider removing dead branches from nearby trees. The added weight of ice and snow, along with winds, may cause limbs to snap and damage property.
Homeowner’s insurance policy should be reviewed to ensure coverage is adequate for the type of weather that regularly occurs in the area. Identify what is excluded from the policy.
With November 15-21 observed as Winter Weather Preparedness Week, all residents should consider using this week to create or maintain a preparedness kit that can help during winter storms.
· Food and water for three days, including one gallon of water per person, per day
· Battery or hand crank all hazards (weather) radio
· Extra batteries
· First aid kit
· Extra clothing, sturdy shoes, blankets and personal hygiene items
· List of emergency phone numbers
· Copies of important documents (photo ID, social security card, etc.)
· Cash in small bills (Power outages can limit use of ATMs and credit cards.)
· Special items based on specific needs (baby formula, extra medication, etc.)
Winter weather preparedness week is also a good time to make a car readiness kit.
These kits should include:
· At least two blankets or a sleeping bag
· Flashlight and extra batteries
· Jumper cables
· Emergency flares
· Extra clothing, including boots, hats and gloves
· Bottled water and non-perishable food
· First aid kit and necessary medication
· Sand or non-clumping cat litter for tire traction
· Cell phone and charger for vehicle use
· Ice scraper and snow brush
For more information on being ready for winter weather, visit GetPrepared.IN.gov.
Winter Driving Tips!
Snow Belt state and don't give venturing out in a blizzard a second thought, keeping these safety tips fresh in your mind can keep you on the road and in control. Make sure you and your car are properly equipped
Before you set out on a snowy trip, even if it's just a short drive to the grocery store, keep the following items in mind.
Make sure that your car has ample antifreeze, the windshield is clean and
you have plenty of windshield washer fluid.
Slow down and drive smoothly. Driving too quickly is the main cause of accidents in winter conditions. Even if you're driving an SUV or a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you cannot safely do 80 mph during a snowstorm. Regardless of your vehicle, how you drive can prevent accidents.
Do not tailgate
Tailgating often leads to accidents, especially if you are driving in stop-and-go traffic. You may think that the driver in front of you doing 35 mph on the freeway is going too slow and needs a reminder in the form of you riding their bumper, but doing so is dangerous.
Do not use cruise control. Driving with cruise control has become almost second nature. Sure, it prevents you from getting leg fatigue, keeps you from unwittingly speeding, but driving with it on in winter conditions can be unsafe.
Pull over or stay home. Remember, there is no shame in making the logical decision to stay in when the conditions are bad. You may be late arriving to your destination, but arriving late in one piece is much better than the alternative.