Cold Weather Safety Tips, Good Advice | Thomas Nelson Community College

Cold Weather Safety Tips, Good Advice

January 8, 2021

Falling temperatures of late prompted Thomas Nelson safety officials to offer helpful recommendations for enduring the cold weather.

Personal and family member safety

  • Stay abreast of weather forecasts.
  • Make sure all family members have extra blankets and heavy clothes.
  • In addition to donning hats and gloves when outside, wearing several layers of loose-fitting clothing is suggested.
  • Be vigilant in routinely checking on those who may be vulnerable such as young children and elderly or disabled individuals.  

Around the home

  • Have emergency supplies of food, water, first aid and batteries available.
  • Check extra heat sources such as space heaters, wood stoves and fireplaces to ensure that they are in proper working order and are not emitting carbon monoxide. 
  • Purchase and use carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Do not use outdoor heaters that burn fuel indoors or in poorly ventilated places.
  • Keep a thin stream of water flowing from faucets to help keep water pipes from freezing when there is a significant drop in temperature.

For drivers

  • Equip vehicles with a winter survival kit to include blankets, flashlight, extra batteries, brightly colored cloth, sand or a bag of cat litter, shovel, candles and matches, nonperishable high-calorie foods, (nuts, raisins, and candy bars), newspapers (for insulation), a first aid kit and jumper cables.
  • Check tires. Make sure they are properly inflated and the tread is in good condition.
  • Keep the gas tank full when driving in cold weather.
  • Make sure brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, heater and exhaust system are in top condition.
  • Check antifreeze. A special solvent may be added to windshield washer reservoir to prevent ice from forming.
  • Check the weather forecast and let someone know your travel plans before heading out.

Driving in icy or wet conditions

  • Decrease speed and leave plenty of room to stop. Allow at least three times more space than usual between the vehicle in front.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding. If wheels start to lock up, ease off of the brake.
  • Turn on lights to increase visibility to other motorists.
  • Keep headlights and windshields clean.
  • Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  • Don't use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, there may be ice formed in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  • Don't pass sanding trucks and snow plows. The drivers have limited visibility, and the road in front of them may be worse than the road behind.

In the event of becoming stranded while driving

  • Do not leave your car; it is your best protection. Do not panic, an idling car only uses one gallon of gas per hour.
  • Roll down a window for a very small amount for fresh air.
  • Make sure the car's exhaust pipe is not blocked to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • At night, leave your dome light on.

These are just a few precautions that can make a huge difference, note College safety officials.