Temperatures are expected to be frosty this weekend, with nights reaching into the low teens, so this is a good time for a reminder about winter safety.

We haven’t been too terribly burdened with snow as of yet, with one major snowstorm that dropped well over a foot of snow on the Twin Counties in late 2020. Other than that, there have only been a few days where people have needed to shovel the walkways near their homes and scrape the windshields on their cars.

But winter is far from over.

People living in the Northeast should always be prepared for harsher weather conditions. Check to see that all the supplies needed are in stock in your home and vehicle.

Motorists are urged to take to the streets cautiously when snow and/or ice appear on the ground.

Make sure your vehicle has been winterized and contains adequate provisions if emergencies occur. Items to have in your car should include a battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, blanket, booster cables, bottled water, nonperishable high-energy foods, fire extinguisher, first-aid kit and manual, maps, shovel, flares, tire repair kit and pump, spare tire, snowbrush and ice scraper, bag of sand, extra windshield fluid, and winter boots and clothes for the trunk.

Also make sure to have your cellphone with you and that it is properly charged. If you’re stuck somewhere on a highway, it may take some time before someone can reach you if snow piles up.

Don’t get caught in a jam without a phone that has a long enough charge for the potential wait. It’s a good idea to keep an extra charging cord for your cellphone in your vehicle’s glove compartment.

Let family or friends know when you’ll be on the road. Make sure your car insurance is updated and that you have the proper documentation with you while driving. Signing up for roadside assistance with your insurance carrier or an automotive group would be helpful.

Just as important, we need to be prepared to help each other out this winter. Many people have limited resources to make it through the season, so it’s up to all of us to offer assistance.

Check in with loved ones, particularly elderly people, when the snowfall gets intense this season. Some individuals are stuck in their homes when conditions worsen. If they have wood-burning furnaces, make sure they have a sufficient supply of wood logs or pellets to last them through the winter.

Offer to do shopping or other errands for loved ones if they can’t get out. But during the novel coronavirus pandemic, please adhere to safety protocols.

Provide weather-appropriate coats and clothing to groups that will distribute them to people in need. Churches often undertake this work, so find ones with worthwhile programs.

Identify food pantries in your area and give what you can. This health care crisis has adversely affected many people’s household budgets, so the need will be great this year.

The long winter poses challenges and remaining prepared for them is wise. Lending a hand to others will make things much easier for everyone.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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