As Sheriff of Grenada County, one of my goals is to encourage proactive efforts when it comes to public safety. As we face a new season of winter weather, now is the time to ready ourselves and our families for storms and potentially hazardous driving conditions.
The best advice we have for you during a winter storm is to stay at home and keep off the roadways if at all possible until conditions improve. However, it is always a good idea to prepare for the unexpected. Below is a good checklist (from www.Ready.gov) outlining how you can best prepare your vehicle for winter weather.
Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:
- Antifreeze levels - ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
- Battery and ignition system - should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
- Brakes - check for wear and fluid levels.
- Exhaust system - check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
- Fuel and air filters - replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Heater and defroster - ensure they work properly.
- Lights and flashing hazard lights - check for serviceability.
- Oil - check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
- Thermostat - ensure it works properly.
- Windshield wiper equipment - repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
- Install good winter tires - Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions.
Update the emergency kits in your vehicles with:
- a shovel
- windshield scraper and small broom
- battery powered radio
- extra batteries
- snack food
- extra hats, socks and mittens
- first aid kit with pocket knife
- necessary medications
- tow chain or rope
- road salt and sand
- booster cables
- emergency flares
- fluorescent distress flag
For more information, visit www.Ready.gov.
As always, if you have a cell phone, charge it before you begin your journey.
Wishing you safe travel and a happy holiday season,
Sheriff Alton Strider
Grenada County Sheriff