OUR VIEW: Be prepared for snow on the way

Weather forecasters are predicting that we’ll see the first snow of the season this weekend.

With such a mild fall, we’ve almost forgotten about that white stuff!

However, we live in Michigan … and on the lake, so we know it’s coming eventually.

It’s best to be prepared before the cold weather and snow hits.

Take steps to prepare your home for winter, such as:

  • Weatherproof your home by installing weather-stripping and caulking and insulating walls, doors and windows;
  • Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so pipes are less likely to freeze;
  • Lock in a propane rate now and have a backup heating plan, such as a generator, wood stove or fireplace;
  • Have gas or oil furnaces inspected by a qualified professional and change the air filter; and
  • Have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected.

“Some Michigan citizens have already experienced their first snow of the season, reminding us that winter is coming,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “If you haven’t done so already, don’t wait to take a few extra steps to ensure you and your family are ready for winter.”

Severe winter weather poses health and safety concerns with extremely cold temperatures, freezing pipes, potential propane shortages and power outages.

The Manistee City Police offers the following winter driving tips:

  • Warm up your vehicle before the trip, but not in the garage;
  • Do not start your trip until the windows are clear of snow and frost;
  • “Kick” your boots before you enter the car; the snow that melts inside becomes interior window frost for the next trip and will help prevent your brake pedal from icing up;
  • Let the plows do their job and plan your trip after they have had a chance to clear the roads. Passing the plow is always a risky proposition;
  • Allow extra distance between vehicles; stopping distances are longer in winter. Let your anti-lock brakes do their job even if they “chatter”;
  • Give snow plow drivers plenty of room to work. Larger trucks have larger blind-spots, and they may not see you;
  • If you’re in a skid, turn into the direction of the skid, taking care to not over-react; get off the accelerator and ease on the brakes;
  • Pack some extra gear in winter, such as a blanket, flashlight, ice scrapers, a folding shovel and some kitty litter (to help improve your traction if you get stuck); and
  • • Keep the gas tank full; the extra weight will improve vehicle traction.

Have fun in the snow this winter, but remember to be safe!

Leave a Reply