How to… prepare for winter weather


by Clint WallaceStaff Writer

As you may or may not realize, Jack Frost will be returning soon. I don’t think I have to remind you of what Jack Frost brings, and he brings a lot of it. When Frost rears his ugly head the snow ordinance wil be in effect and that can be a pain.

As we are traveling to many destinations for the upcoming breaks, it would be a wise choice to pay attention to this article to save yourself time, energy and most importantly, money.

One of the first steps to get ready for the winter traveling season is to make a little survival pack to put in your vehicle. The pack could consist of many things including:

– A blanket (not one of your favorite ones because you won’t use it often…hopefully).

– Gloves and extra pair of clothing (same rule as your blanket).

– Antifreeze – Antifreeze is a special liquid made not to freeze (like the name says) and is useful for trying to clean off your windshield. It’s not a liquid I would recommend drinking because it’s hazardous to your health and I bet it doesn’t taste like Kool-Aid.

– Window Scraper – This is one of the winter tools you should always have. I would actually recommend having this close to you because you will need it often to scrape the ice off your windows. According to Officer Gingerich, you can be arrested if your window isn’t properly free of ice, not to mention it’s a safe way to travel.

– Flashlight – You should have a flashlight in your car anyway, but during the winter it becomes more important. If your car is as fashionable as mine, the flashlight also acts as your interior lights. Back-up batteries are also important.

– Cell Phone – Most students’ phones don’t leave their side, but it would be a good idea to program emergency numbers in your contacts for future reference, but I wouldn’t drunk dial 911. (Just a thought.)

– Board games – If you get stranded, you might need something to do.

– Textbooks – Not for homework, but if you need to start a fire. I would recommend books from classed you did poorly in, the fire will be much more bittersweet. You don’t want to use old papers because you never know if what you might need for Writing Competency II.

After making your handy-dandy winter survival kit, you should take the time and money to have mechanics give your car a look over. The mechanics will check fluids and everything else to make sure it will work properly.

“Preparing your vehicle for winter is just as important as the kit,” Gingerich said.

When the winter season comes upon us, there are some driving habits you should take note of.

– Warm up your vehicle. If you know you are leaving soon, dash to your vehicle to get it started early. It will warm up the inside, but also make the car run better because it needs to warm up as well.

– Scrape the windows. If you warm up your car, the windows might clean themselves. If not, give them a helping hand. It may be too cold out, but it needs to get done, not just for your safety, but your passengers and the other drivers you happily share the road with.

– Keep a safe distance from other vehicles. If you tailgate, you need to chill out (no pun intended). According to Gingerich, you should keep about a four count (one Mississippi…two Mississippi…etc.) between you and the car in front of you. If the roads aren’t entirely clean, your tires won’t grab the concrete well.

– Pump your breaks. If you come to a moment when you need to abruptly stop, pump your breaks. If you slam on your breaks, the wheels could lock up and you won’t be able to turn if you need to. Plus, pumping the breaks gives you more of a grab to the road.

These are helpful tidbits of advice for the upcoming winter solstice. If you stick with my easy advice, you will have a safer winter.