Winter weather in Ohio is known to be unpredictable. In the months leading in and out of winter, it can be 50 degrees one day and 12 the next. Because of this unpredictability, it's important to always prepare for winter weather.
If you're preparing for your first Ohio winter, consider these eight tips to stay warm and safe this season.
1. Give yourself extra Time to commute
Rushing to class when the roads are icy can be incredibly dangerous. Even when the roads look clear, black ice may create invisible dangers that can lead to serious accidents.
Be sure to check the weather report before you go to bed to leave yourself plenty of time in the morning to make it to your destination safely.
2. Buy an accident safety kit
If you get in an accident, it's important to have some essentials in your trunk to stay safe. First, be sure your phone is fully charged when you're driving in the winter, and keep your coat on in the car – if you veer into a snow bank and can't move from your seat, your coat can keep you warm while help is on the way.
Consider keeping an accident safety kit in your car. This can include reflective gear, jumper cables, first aid kits, and more to keep you safe and warm in the event of an accident.
3. Get an ice scraper and shovel
As you prepare to leave the house on a winter morning, you'll likely encounter a layer of ice on your windshield. Have a scraper on hand to ensure you can see out of all your windows.
Make sure to keep a shovel handy in case you need to create a pathway for your car to leave the parking lot or driveway.
4. BUY WARM WINTER GEAR
Winter in Ohio can be miserable if you're not warm. Be sure you're comfortable when you're outside by wearing a warm coat, gloves, a scarf, and a hat or ear muffs.
It's smart to keep an extra set of all of the above in your car, in case of emergencies.
5. KEEP SUPPLIES ON HAND
If you're stuck inside for a day or two, especially if you don't have power, be sure you have enough food and fresh water on hand to make it through.
Consider keeping an emergency kit in your home with bottled water, a portable charger for your cell phone and canned or boxed non-perishable foods.
6. BE SURE YOUR CAR IS IN GOOD SHAPE
Winter can put extra pressure on your car as well.
Be sure your tires are equipped to drive in the snow, your battery is in good shape and your windshield wipers create a clear path between you and the road.
7. HAVE ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE ON SPEED DIAL
If you don't currently have roadside assistance through your auto insurance, cell phone provider or membership group like AAA, consider signing up for that service elsewhere.
Keep that number handy; it can be very stressful if you end up in an accident and don't know who to call.
8. KEEP YOUR GAS TANK HALF-FULL
If your tank gets too empty in the winter, you could find yourself stranded. It's important to keep your gas tank at least half-full on nights when the temperature falls below freezing. While some people think this is because the gas itself will freeze, this precaution actually has to do with your fuel lines.
When your tank is close to empty, condensation forms in the empty space. That condensation can find its way to your fuel lines and freeze, preventing gas from flowing, and leaving you without a working car until the temperature comes back up. Keep your tank closer to full than empty to avoid this issue.
Whether it's your first winter in Ohio or you've been through several already, consider preparing yourself for the snow, ice and cold with these eight tips to stay safe this winter.