Prepare for Snowmageddon

 While you Mid-Atlantians may have finally dug, shoveled, and blown your way through the first wave of the Great Snow of Aught Ten, more is coming. Prepare for the Snowmageddon, humans.

Despite its angelic appearance, snow can be dangerous. And if you think that big, roaring metal contraption that Safety Cat's human likes to call 'car' will protect you bipeds from getting hurt, think again. According to National Weather Service, about 70 percent of injuries during winter storms result from vehicle accidents, and about 25 percent of injuries result from being caught out in the storm.

And while some of you smart humans may be able to stay home and shower your four-legged family members with food, most of you cannot. Someone needs to pay for Health Hound's kibble!

Here are some tips from OSHA's Winter Storm Safety and Health Guide about what safety precautions you should take when driving during the Snowpocalypse:

Inspect the roaring machine, or 'car', to ensure the following systems are operating properly:

  • Brakes: Brakes should provide even and balanced braking. Also check that brake fluid is at the proper level.
  • Cooling System: Ensure a proper mixture of 50/50 antifreeze and water in the cooling system at the proper level.
  • Electrical System: Check that battery is fully charged and that connections are clean. Check that the alternator belt is in good condition with proper tension.
  • Engine: Inspect all engine systems.
  • Exhaust System: Check exhaust for leaks and that all clamps and hangers are snug.
  • Tires: Check for proper tread depth and no signs of damage or uneven wear. Check for proper tire inflation.
  • Oil: Check that oil is at proper level.
  • Visibility Systems: Inspect all exterior lights, defrosters (windshield and rear window), and wipers. Install winter windshield wipers.

Also carry an emergency kit in the vehicle with the following items:

  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Cellular telephone or two-way radio
  • Windshield scraper
  • Snow brush
  • Flashlight with fresh/extra batteries
  • Extra winter clothes
  • Shovel
  • Tow chain
  • Matches
  • Traction aids (bag of sand or cat litter)
  • Emergency flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Road maps
  • Fancy Feast
OSHA's guide is the only way you will survive Snowmageddon, so print it out before the snow takes your power.

Stay warm, humans!

--S.C.

Posted by Safety Cat on Feb 09, 2010


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