As the leaves change colors and begin to fall, people across Maine begin to prepare for yet another long, hard winter. On November, 2nd 2014, nearly a foot of snow was dumped on Bangor, Maine. This early snowstorm which was a wet, heavy snow, left approximately 140,000 people of Maine without power.

Maine State Trooper Donald Webb signals for drivers to stop Nov. 2, 2014 in white-out conditions at an accident on Route 3 in China. Photo by Andy Malloy of BDN.

It is important to always be prepared for these types of situations to keep you and your family safe. As the cold weather approaches us we are reminded of the importance to properly prepare for a winter here in Maine before it hits. It is important to winterize both your home and your car to ensure you can stay safe wherever you are during a snowstorm.

First, you should winterize your home. You can improve the quality of your heat supply by applying plastic on your windows to help keep the warm air in, and the cold air out. Your chimneys should be cleaned and checked to ensure they are safe to use. This is the time of the year when people begin using heat sources to heat their home. With that comes the increased risk of a fire. Everyone in your home should know where your fire extinguishers are, and also how to use them. It is also important during the extremely cold days to keep faucets dripping to prevent pipes from freezing. You should also properly insulate these water pipes. To prevent branches from falling on your home or other building of importance, you should cut away any branch that could possibly fall on your home or garage.

Next you should winterize your vehicle. It is strongly advised to have a mechanic to check over your car to make sure that it is safe and ready for the winter. The mechanic should be sure to check: breaks, exhaust, heater, defroster, headlights, hazard lights, oil, windshield wipers and tires. Sometimes a safe car will not be enough to keep you on the road during nasty winter conditions so you should have an emergency kit in your car. This should contain: a shovel, windshield scraper, water, snacks, extra warm clothes, blankets, road sand, a flashlight and booster cables.

If at all possible your safest option is to stay off the roads when you know there is a possibility of poor driving conditions. If you do however get caught driving in poor conditions and you do not feel safe driving, find a spot off the road to park and wait until driving conditions improve.
With winter right around the corner, it is important to prepare now. Don’t wait until your trouble. It is to late then. Prepare now, and be safe during this winter season.

Featured image from readywisconsin