The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently launched a fantastic web page on how to stay safe if you have to work during or after a winter storm.
If the weather is poor, staying off the road is clearly the best thing to do. However, if you have to drive during a winter storm, here are some great tips OSHA offers on preparing your vehicle for dangerous weather.
Inspect your vehicle thoroughly.
- Brakes: Make sure they provide balanced and even breaking. Check that the brake fluid is at the proper level.
- Cooling System: Ensure the proper mixture of 50/50 antifreeze and water.
- Electrical: Check the ignition and makes sure the battery is fully charged and that the connectors are clean. Check that the alternator belt is in good condition.
- Engine: Inspect all engine systems.
- Exhaust: Check the exhaust for leaks and that the clamps and hangers are snug.
- Tires: Check for good tread depth and for signs of damage or uneven wear. Check inflation.
- Visibility: Inspect exterior lights, defrosters, and wipers. Install winter wipers. _ Check your oil levels.
Bring a winter emergency kit including:
- Blankets / sleeping bags
- Cell phone
- Windshield scaper
- Snow brush
- Flashlight with fresh batteries
- Extra winter clothes
- Tow chain
- Traction aids (sand or cat litter)
- Emergency flares
- Jumper cables
- Snacks and water
- Road maps
And keep at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle at all times!
OSHA’s page is a rich source of information and I highly recommend taking a look.