Many of the weather prognosticators are now saying that we should prepare for another long, cold and (shudder) snowy winter in the Metro Vancouver region. Ugh. Get ready for hashtag #BC Storm to start trending as we get a dusting of snow.
If we are in fact in for a snowy winter, and you are planning on continuing to drive through the snowy season, there are a few practical things you should do to prepare for driving in the winter weather.
- First thing, slow down when you are driving. It doesn’t matter if you have a four-wheel driving Marmaduke-sized SUV and you grew up back east where you always got snow. Slow down.
- Next, get snow tires for your vehicle. Don’t kid yourself, all season tires are not good in the snow. Get snow tires.
- Another consideration if you are driving in snowy conditions, always be prepared whenever you go out in your car. That means don’t go drop the kids off at school wearing your fuzzy slippers and pyjamas under your ratty old housecoat. Wear footwear that you can wear in the snow just in case you get stuck and have to get out of your Marmaduke-SUV. And wear a coat over top of your pyjamas.
- You also want to keep some cold weather supplies in your car. For example, a warm blanket and a couple pair of warm socks is useful in case you get stuck somewhere wand have to wait in your car for any length of time. The socks can be used to replace wet socks on your feet or as mitts to keep your hands warm. In the winter I always wear a toque or as our American neighbors say, a wooden knitted cap. If you don’t, make sure there is one in your car – just in case.
- As well as warm clothing you should make sure you have some “emergency” rations with you in the car. When I was a kid I remember my parents having “truck cookies” in the car or truck. If you get stuck somewhere they will keep a hungry tummy at least a little bit at bay. Another food item to consider keeping in your car are hard candies.
- Equally important as food items, keep a couple candles and a lighter in your car glovebox. A burning candle can offer a bit of light and warmth.
- There are also a couple of tools you should consider keeping in the trunk of your car. Most importantly, keep a short handle shovel in your car. You never know when you will need to dig your or a friend’s car out of a snowpack.
- Another must have item to keep in your car or truck for winter driving is a bag or two of sand or kitty litter. The sand adds a bit of weight to keep your car stable on the road and can be broken open and used to give your tires some traction on a slippery surface.
- The final “must have” item to keep with you if you are traveling ANY distance, make sure you always take a bottle or two of water with you.
That’s it. My list of considerations you should make before doing any more winter driving. But please, most importantly SLOW DOWN when road conditions deteriorate. And watch the hashtag #BC Storm for a laugh.