Tips on winter weather preps and staying safe - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Tips on winter weather preps and staying safe

Source: WBRC Source: WBRC
Experts recommend packing these six items in a winter weather preparedness kit for your car. Source: WBRC Experts recommend packing these six items in a winter weather preparedness kit for your car. Source: WBRC
Where were you when the snow and ice came late last January?

You may have been stuck on one of the roads and highways that froze over. You may have carried your children home through the cold, or camped out at work, in a stranger's homes, or where ever you could find shelter.

Will we see it again this year? The FOX6 Stormwarn Team is On Your Side with some answers tonight and ways to prepare, just in case.

Tips to winterize your home

Alabama Power offers a free energy check up for single family homes. A technician will come to your house, inspect your home and suggest options to save money while heating or cooling your home. Call 1-800-245-2244 to set up an appointment and get more information.

There are also some actions you can take:

1. Keep your thermostat on 68 degrees heat.

2. Make sure you have proper insulation.

3. Open curtains and blinds on sunny days to let natural heat inside.

4. Close your curtains and blinds during the night.

5. Keep your garage doors closed.

6. Close your fireplace damper when not in use.

7. Use ceiling fans (clockwise in winter).

8. Have your HVAC serviced each year.

9. Don't use space heaters to heat large areas because they are inefficient, which means a higher power bill for you!


Prepare your vehicle for winter driving

Colder temperatures make it harder for your vehicle to work properly so it's important to protect your car!

1. Check your antifreeze and coolant. Most antifreeze comes pre-mixed at the store. Look for types that are a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water.

2. Check your battery. Cold temperatures can zap battery life by up to 50 percent.

3. Check your windshield wipers and that your wiper fluid reservoir is full. Some fluids come with de-icer.

4. Check your tires. Make sure they are inflated properly, which will give you the best grip on the road.


Prepare for winter driving

If we see bad winter weather like last January, the best advice is to stay off the roads. But if you must travel, keep these safety tips in mind.

1. Use the lane that is the most traveled. 

2. Slow down! Put 10 seconds of time between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.

3. Clear your vehicle of snow or ice before you drive. This includes tail lights, side windows and headlights.

4. Have more than one travel route planned. You may also want to carry a paper map to reserve cell phone battery.

5. If you start to skid, steer into the direction you're sliding. Take your foot off the gas and lightly apply the brakes.

6. Don't forget your emergency kit! This could include jumper cables, ice scraper, emergency roadside contact, cell phone charter, a blanket, water and snacks. Consumer Reports has more suggestions here.

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