Good Morning Team!
Fall is here and while we may still receive some fairly warm temperatures until much later into the season, the cold weather and all that brings cannot be far behind. We should be taking the time now to plan for bitter cold, snow, and ice. Are you ready? Do you have a plan of action in dealing with heavy snow fall or ice on your property? What if someone who helps with your snow/ice removal cannot make it in to work? Have you checked your supply of ice melt? Made sure that your snow shovels, snow blowers, and ice melt spreading equipment is ready to go? How about needed PPE? Are your boots, gloves, knit caps or ski masks, ice traction devices and other winter wear ready to go?
You’ll also want to make sure that your automobile is in tip top shape. Keeping it well tuned and making sure the battery and charging system are doing their jobs will help to ensure that it starts and runs when temps begin to plummet. Making sure your head, tail and signal lights are fully functional and that the window washing fluid is freeze protected along with a good set of wiper blades means you’re more likely to be seen by other drivers as well as being able to see those others yourself. Are your tires in good shape with tread designed for snow/ice or all seasons? While no plain old tire is any better than another on black ice, having good tread does help grip the road better when roads are wet, slush covered or snow packed.
How about some cold weather emergency items in that trusty vehicle? Snow chains, ice scraper, snow or other type of shovel, and kitty litter or ice melt, can give you a leg up if you happen to get stuck in a drift or on the ice. If you’re planning a longer trip in more isolated areas then bring along a flashlight, tin can, candles, matches, energy bars or other nonperishable snacks, and a blanket or two, in case you are stranded for longer. Make sure you bring along a fully charged cell phone in case you do have to call for assistance as well.
Is your property ready in other ways? Do you have exterior faucets or piping subject to freezing? Any areas where cold winds penetrate to flash freeze plumbing? Are any heat tapes you might use operational? How about all heating equipment through-out your property? Have they been recently serviced and verified safe to operate? If you haven’t already, now’s the time to get these things taken care of. I heard that a historic blizzard was forecast for the northern Rockies this weekend with snow accumulations of between 15” and 36”. While I know that’s a fair distance from us here in the Midwest, we should always be aware of our own forecast as things can change quickly.
I personally appreciate the changing seasons, though I admit I never care much for the extremes that those seasons can bring, but I can’t do much about what might be coming anyway. All I have any power over is in how prepared I can be for whatever does come. Just like all other matters concerning safety, our best protection is being and remaining aware of possibilities.
Have a great week and be safe!