At least 21 people died in weather-related incidents caused by extremely cold temperatures that hit much of the U.S. earlier this year. Temperatures in the Midwest hit a record-breaking minus 31 in Rockford, Illinois and minus 30 in Iowa’s Cedar Rapids. Chicago saw temperatures drop to minus 21 degrees, with Milwaukee and Minneapolis both recording minus 25. Winter may seem a while away, but preparing for more harsh weather and freezing temperatures is imperative to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your family.
Winter Emergency Kit
Long before the harsh weather arrives, you should put together an emergency winter kit containing important supplies to help you get through a winter storm. Stock up on rock salt and sand to melt ice and improve traction. You’ll also need some decent snow shovels, flashlights, matches, and a multi-tool. Add warm clothing and blankets to your emergency kit and sufficient heating fuel in case your home becomes isolated and regular sources of fuel get cut off. You’ll also need several days’ worth of non-perishable food, medicine, and pet food.
Get Your Snowmobile Winter-Ready
For many people, the first signs of winter can signal the time to bring out their snowmobile and put it to good use. Snowmobiling is a great way to get around during winter. But to operate a snowmobile safely, especially in winter conditions, takes skill and strength. Snowmobiles should therefore only be driven by someone over 16. To make sure your snowmobile is ready in good time for the winter months, you’ll need to make some preparations first. Give it a good look over, check for any wear and tear and make sure nothing has come loose. Check the main fluids such as gas, brake fluid, and coolant and drain any gas that has been left before adding more to the tank. Top up the brake fluid and coolant if it’s low. Next, check the skis, ensuring there are no holes, gouges or cuts and ensure your runners are straight. Lastly, give the snowmobile a big clean to wash off any salt or debris.
Create a Family Communications Plan
A family communications plan can be extremely helpful if disaster strikes and your family aren’t together. The communications plan will ensure that everyone will know how to contact each other, how to get back together and what to do in an emergency. Get everyone involved in putting the plan together, so everyone knows what to do if the worst should happen. It’s also important to plan ahead to make sure everyone has access to emergency communication devices, chargers, batteries, and a radio.
The extremely harsh conditions the country experienced at the start of the year shows that it’s never too early to get prepared for next winter. Making sure your snowmobile is ready, creating a good emergency kit and family communications plan will help to keep all your family safe in extreme temperatures.