Guest Column From State Representative Greenspan
Staying Safe in Winter Conditions
February 02, 2018
 
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Winter weather can be beautiful, but as Ohio residents well know, it is also unpredictable and dangerous. We have already seen extreme temperatures this season, and we still have a few more months to go. Since there is no guarantee of what the next week’s weather might be, here are a few ways to prepare and protect yourself and your family.


Before you head out on the roads, examine your windshield wipers, as they need to be in good condition to function in harsh weather. Check your tire pressure, along with your headlights and taillights, and consider getting a tune-up. It also never hurts to top off your windshield wiper fluid. Be sure you have an ice scraper and keep your gas tank at least half full in case of unexpected road conditions or a loss of gas station electricity.


It’s important to drive carefully and leave room between your car and the next. It may take longer to slow down than you anticipate, and black ice could throw your vehicle for a spin. If you see a snowplow, never crowd or try to closely pass the plow. It is unlikely the driver will be able to see you, and a plow’s reach often overextends into the next lane.


To be ready for emergencies, I suggest preparing survival kits for your vehicle and home. These should contain a flashlight, first aid kit, bottled water, nonperishable food and blankets. In case of power outages, consider purchasing a generator, make sure important prescriptions have been refilled and remember to stock up on pet food.


Homes may encounter difficulty with struggling furnaces and frozen pipes. If you use a space or kerosene heater, I encourage you to be very cautious. Don’t overload electrical sockets, use proper fuel and keep the heaters away from carpet and other flammable materials. To protect pipes when temperatures are below freezing, let cold water drip from your faucets.


Lastly, if weather permits and if you are physically able to clear your drive, warm up before shoveling by stretching beforehand. Shoveling snow while you are cold can make your muscles more susceptible to injury.


As this Ohio winter continues on, I encourage you to take the small steps now that will benefit you and your family in future months. Exercising caution and anticipating the inconveniences and problems that winter weather brings could make all the difference if an unwelcome situation should occur.


 

 
 
 
  
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