Winter is upon us, will your vehicle be prepared?

by John Jacobsen

Preparing your car for winter has been at the back of people’s minds for months, but it could end up saving your life.

“I was lucky to have a blanket in my car when I ran out of gas on my way home last year,” said freshman Kurtis Kadlec.

The unseasonably warm weather has lulled students into procrastinating in their attempts to prepare for the winter months.

“People need to start working themselves back into the mindset of driving on ice and snow now,” said officer Chris Marsh of the Indianola Police Department.

“I always put blankets and a shovel in my car for winter, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet,” sophomore Christine Walsh said.

Steps can be taken to ensure that your car runs properly over the winter. “It is a good idea to check the antifreeze and make sure it is ready for the cold temperatures,” said Tom Dodge, mechanic technician of Watters Autoland.

With technological advances in automobiles, there has become fewer things to check in preparation for the winter months.

“When the cars come out nowadays they are pretty much ready to go,” Dodge said, adding that it is always good to check belts and hoses before the winter to stop any cracking that may be encouraged by cold temperatures.

There are many items drivers should have in case of an emergency during the winter.

“Blankets, candles and freeze-dried food are always good to have with you in the car,” said Marsh.

With changing road conditions travelers should always prepare ahead of time for any weather they might encounter. “If you plan on doing any traveling it is a good idea to check out the condition of the roads before heading out,” Marsh said.

Marsh added that local updates can be answered by the Indianola police, while statewide reports can be answered by calling 288-1047.

Some students find that the best way to prepare for the weather is to just avoid it. “I don’t drive in the snow unless I really need to; it is just a lot easier that way,” Walsh said.