Many ESP members are critically needed at work during winter storm school closings. Many times staff travel to work only to be sent home due to worsening weather. There are also those who leave during the worst of the storm.
Here are some helpful tips that should make your foul weather trip safer:
- Windows, lights, roofs, hoods (front and rear) and mirrors should all be cleared of snow, ice, etc. The roof is necessary to clear because the snow can slide backwards covering a previously cleared rear windshield. If you have a rear window defroster, let the vehicle?s heating system begin to heat the car before turning on the rear electric defroster. Sometimes the electric defroster works too quickly in extreme cold, causing the window to shatter.
- Make sure that your defrosters and wipers are working. Change your wiper blades every other year or every 8000 to 10,000 miles. The sharper the wiper blade is, the better it will clear weather debris and road slim. Be sure to keep your windshield washer reservoir adequately supplied.
- Your other car fluids should be regularly checked and maintained, particularly your oil and antifreeze.
- While you or someone is under the hood, run a battery check. Cold weather increases stress and drain on a battery.
- While checking your car?s battery, be sure that your cell phone, if you carry one in the car, is fully charged. Leaving the phone in a car exposes it to weather extremes that drain its battery also.
- Tires need to be able to start, go and stop on all types of winter surfaces. Have yours checked to see if they are safe and adequate for the type of winter driving that you do. See your tire professionals in your district?s transportation department, if you have one, or visit a tire center in your area.
- Store the following in the rear: bag of rock salt and/or sand (20 ? 30 lbs.), small shovel, flares and/or reflectors, a few bottles of water and snack bars, a couple of blankets.
If your district has its own transportation department, sit down and talk to the drivers. Ask them to share their professional expertise in how to drive defensively during inclement weather
Stay well, drive carefully. The schools and children need you.