8 Ways To Stay Safe During Snow and Ice
- Ice melt is a product that forms a liquid brine. This brine generates heat, thus melting ice and snow as it comes in contact with the surface. In order to be effective, however, ice melt must be applied prior to snow or ice covering the surface. This is why we see state employees brining roads prior to a storm, not after.
- Be safe on the roadways. Ice and snow are different elements on the roadways. 4×4 vehicles are not effective on the ice after you have already lost traction because ice leaves nothing to grip on. Putting your car in 4-wheel drive will just cause you to slide on 4 tires instead of 2. New, winter snow tires can help provide a better grip, however, when roadways are iced over, the safest thing to do is stay off of them altogether. If you do have to travel, be sure to pack an emergency kit in your vehicle. Kits should include things like warm gloves, jumper cables, extra windshield wiper fluid, an ice scraper/snow brush, a first aid kit, a charged flashlight, safety flairs, drinking water and extra non-perishable foods.
- When temperatures drop below freezing, our homes have to work harder to keep everything warm, including pipes. Be sure to turn off the water from any exterior faucets that you may use for lawn care and gardening. This will prevent freezing and cracking, which causes leaks.
- Frost is another form of ice that can harm some exterior plants. Thin ice crystals form on leaves and needles. If plants are not winter hardy, a frost can kill them. If you are unsure whether a plant is hardy enough to survive freezing temperatures, it is best to cover them or if potted, bring them inside to protect them from the elements. Proper preparation can save a lot of money on your landscape budget!
- Be aware of the trees on your property. If ice and snow buildup on tree branches, they can snap. The best thing to do is keep tree branches in close proximity to your home trimmed before the winter season hits. However, it is not always feasible to have this done prior to a storm, so be sure that you have any lawn furniture or outdoor items moved out of range from potentially falling limbs.
- Stock up on supplies for home. We’ve all seen pictures of empty grocery store shelves in the days leading up to a storm. The reality is, with impending ice, it is a good idea to ensure you have some extra drinking water on hand, as well as enough food supplies. When ice brings tree limbs down, they have a nasty habit of bringing power lines with them. During power outages, you want to be sure you have the daily supplies you need until utility companies can safely restore power to your neighborhood.
- Have an emergency plan in place with your family. Make sure that your family is on the same page and your children know what to do in case of an emergency. While you don’t want to create panic, it is good to have a family communication plan in case weather causes delays or separation.
- Stay inside! Warm up with your families by the fire. Take advantage of this time to slow down and enjoy each other’s company. Break out the board games and have some family fun! Of course, if we do see some of the powdery white stuff, a snow angel or two may also be in order.