Winter Storm Preparations

It’s exciting, for our first weekend of 2017 it looks like the Triad area can look forward to a snowy weekend! The winter warning issued is calling for 6 to 9 inches of snow. Saturday and Sunday are sure to be winter wonderlands for those in Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem. You may be rushing out to the stores now to prepare, but here are some tips from Go-Forth to ensure you’re prepared.

Salt, Sand, Ice Melt, or even Kitty Litter!

These products all do one important thing when you’re in the middle of a snow storm: Melt Ice. Especially if you know elderly people around your neighborhood, or need to have the area around your car melted, these are the DIY products to help you. Salt, sand, and kitty litter are potential items at the home you may have somewhere. If in quantity, use these on your porch, driveway, outdoor stairs, anywhere that is a risk for icing over.

Sand is really more to add traction that snow and ice take away, though it’s still a mixture of minerals. Salt is usually among those minerals, so it will still do a decent job at melting ice and snow. Salt is still the best way to go, but sand is how you can combat traction problems that may be leftover.

The thing about kitty litter is that it works only with ice. If you try to use it on snow, it’ll absorb it just like it does when your cat uses the bathroom. What it ends up leaving behind is kitty litter clay, which will be in the way like the snow and ice were. If you’re looking at snow and ice, you should focus on salt or sand to use against the more snowy parts of your home.

Car Prep!

An emergency can happen at any time, even when you’re snowed in. Before those occur, there are some basic steps you can take to be prepared for take off.

  • Fill your Gas Tank
    • A full tank reduces the risk of the fuel line freezing
  • Have emergency flash lights in your car
  • Check the antifreeze levels
    • Fill up if low!
  • Ensure your tires are properly inflated
  • Before going anywhere put a blanket in the car
    • Emergencies can happen when you’re out, and if you’re stuck it’s better safe than sorry

Driving Tips!

In the Triad, we haven’t seen bad snow since 2014, so many of us may not be prepared to drive in icy conditions. You can’t just salt all the roads all the way to your destination, so remember these tips if you go out:

  • Go 5-10 MPH under the speed limit
    • Don’t trust everything to be okay, black ice can take complete control from your car even if you’re going 10MPH. Go at a slower speed until you’re comfortable.
  • Careful with your breaks
    • Breaking more will not stop your car from spinning out if this has already occurred. Go slow, break carefully.
  • Turn into the slide
    • Turn the front wheels to match the direction the back wheels of your car are sliding towards. Don’t try to fight the slide, the best way to take control is by slowing down and working with the sliding conditions you are currently facing
  • Use extreme caution around hills and curves in the road
  • Get off the road ASAP
    • The best way to avoid ice is to not put you or your car onto it. Only drive in icy conditions for serious emergencies.

These tips are meant to help give perspective on what to prepare for and how to handle it outside your house. The American Red Cross has provided an extensive check list for things you should also prepare for, including: basics, food supplies, and what you can do during the snow storm once it hits. To learn about this, check the PDF out here! North Carolina usually gets a bad snow-in every few years, and this looks like it may be that time. After all that nice warm weather, it seems as though winter karma is sneaking up on us. Be careful and stay safe this weekend!

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