The Christmas season may be a wonderful time of year, but it also brings with it something that few of us look forward to - severe winter weather.
Bitter cold, high winds, heavy snowfall, freezing rain, poor visibility and slippery roads are just a few of the gifts Old Man Winter can bring us, and, when combined with the many parties and get-togethers associated with the festive season, can create dangerous situations. It is up to all of us to behave responsibly, for the safety of ourselves and those around us.
Fortunately, we have yet to see much severe winter weather this season in our part of the country, but we know it is coming. Therefore, there is no excuse for being unprepared.
In the car and at home, carry an emergency kit, with necessary items like extra water and food, a blanket, a radio and a flashlight. Road salt or sand, and a snow shovel can also come in handy when in a tight spot. Also remember that it is now the law for motorists to use daytime running lights.
The most important piece of advice for those driving during a storm is this: don't. Just stay put until conditions are safe. If you must drive, call 511 to check highway conditions, or 1-888-432-3233 for local road conditions.
In case you missed last winter, you should also expect an untimely power outage or two over the next few months. Prepare your home for these situations. If you're using a generator, make sure it is wired properly. Only use candles with utmost caution, never leaving them unattended. Also, make sure your civic address sign is easily visible to emergency responders.
The best way to handle these situations is to be ready for them when they come. Have a safe and Merry Christmas.