Winter is a beautiful season, but cold and snowy/icy conditions can present a lot of safety concerns. Keep these tips in mind to stay safe and warm this winter.

Vehicle Safety. Be prepared. Keep a flashlight, ice scraper, warning devices (e.g. flares, reflectors), jumper cables, first aid kit, snow shovel and rock salt or sand, bottled water and snacks, and extra blankets in your vehicle. Always have a cell phone with you (but don’t keep it in the car). Don’t leave your car running to warm it up in the morning or to keep it warm while pumping gas or running into the store, this is an easy way to get your vehicle stolen.

Driving Safety. If your car is parked outside, make sure the exhaust pipe and the area around it is clear of snow before you start the car. In icy and snowy conditions, drive slowly, allow plenty of stopping time, and pay attention to the road and other drivers. If you get stuck in the snow, light two flares and place one at each end of the car, a safe distance away. Make sure snow isn’t blocking the exhaust pipe, and stay in the vehicle with a window open slightly to allow fresh air.

Home Safety. Be prepared. Have a week’s worth of food, drinking water, medicine and prescription drugs, pet food, and safety supplies on hand. Do not leave lit candles unattended. Keep your sidewalks and driveway clear of snow each day. If you are unable to remove it, contact a willing neighbor or a snow removal business to do it for you. For those going away this season, snow left on the driveway and sidewalk for a period of time can be a dead giveaway that you aren’t home, so arrange for it to be cleared every day.


Have a safe and happy winter season.

Abby Orscheln – Safety & Security Intern